Biography of Omar Khayyam


Khayyam, Omar (o'mur ky-ya'm). Astronomer-poet of Persia. Born in Nishapur in Khorassan. Lived in the latter half of the eleventh century, and died in the first quarter of the twelfth. He wrote a collection of poems which breathe an Epicurean spirit, and while they occupy themselves with serious problems of life, they do so with careless sportiveness, intent on enjoyment of the sensuous pleasures of life, like an easy-going Epicurean. The great problems of destiny do not trouble the author, they are no concern of his, and the burden of his songs assuredly is, as his translator says, "If not, 'let us eat, let us drink, for tomorrow we die.'"