“Secret” meaning of the poems of Omar Khayyam

Not every connoisseur of Khayyam poetry guessed that there was an allegorical meaning hidden in them. To interpret it is not so simple: for this you need to orient yourself in the cultural traditions of the medieval East. Thus, in the time of Khayyam, a religious-mystical doctrine called Sufism arose that had a huge impact on the Arab world. His followers, the Sufis, claimed that God is present in everything, but a person can experience this presence only in a state of special mystical ascent. To enter into this state, one should abandon the services of the mind, discard the everyday and habitual thinking. And the main means of achieving it, according to Sufism, are wine and love, which change the human consciousness.

It is possible that Khayyam was familiar with this teaching. In any case, the cult of wine and love, contrasted in his poetry with the impotence of the human mind, reveals a clear resemblance to the Sufi ideas:

Hurry up here! Now is not the time for sleep,
I glorify with roses I want to bark in the spring.
But before the Mind, the pesky old man,
To put him to sleep, in the face of the wine a mold.

It is also possible that the poems of the Persian poet reflected the allegorical language used by the Sufis. In this language, wine meant a state of mystical inspiration and higher happiness; the cup is the measure of human life, and the cupbearer who measures it is God. The Sufis often represented the Creator also in the form of a potter who sculpted vessels or bowls. The mentioned images are literally filled with lyrics by Khayyam, and often their allegorical values ​​are brought to the surface. For example, in some rubai, the poet openly draws parallels between man and vessel, between wine and supreme pleasure, between the Creator and the potter.

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“Secret” meaning of the poems of Omar Khayyam