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Word Count: 1,449
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam presents an interesting challenge to any reader trying to sort through its heavy symbolism and not-so-obvious theme Not only does the poem provide us with a compelling surface story but a second look at the text can reveal a rich collection of seperate meanings hidden in the poems objective descriptions and sprawling narrative-which in the space of a few pages includes such disparate characters as the Moon God the Snake and his traditional Christian neighborhood Paradise the Balm of Life not to mention nearly every animal and sexual symbol the human mind can come up with Obviously on one level the poem can present itself in a fairly straightforward manner in the vein of CARPE DIEM In the third stanza the author writes Open then the Door You know how little while we have to stay And once departed may return no more Theres several refrains to this throughout the poem first in the seventh stanza Come fill the cup The Bird of Time has but a little way To flutter-and the bird is on the Wing The entire ninth stanza describes the summer month that brings the Rose taking Jamshyd and Kaikobad away and so forth and so on ad nauseum Again in the fifty-third stanza You gaze To-Day while You are You-how then Tomorrow You when shall be You no more The poet seems to be in an incredible hurry to get this life going before some cosmic deadline comes due and more than willing to encourage any of the laiety he encounters in the course of the poem to do the same Another recurring motif throughout the poem is the time-honored act of downing a few drinks It appears that either Wine the Cup or Bowl and the Grape touch every stanza in the poem the narrator seems to be an alcoholic In
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