The meaning of life in 4 lines by O. Khayyam, age 963.

I am grateful for Christopher Hitchens’ book “The Portable Atheist” for reminding me of the “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”, which Hitchens describes as a “long and beautiful poem”.

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) lived in medieval Persia and was an astronomer and mathematician. He was also a serious believer in the good life, which you will understand if you read the poem in full. Here are 4 lines from his poem on the importance of now:

Would you be happy! hearken, then, the way:

Heed not TO-MORROW, heed not YESTERDAY;

The magic words of life are HERE and NOW

O fools, that after some to-morrow stray!”


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