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Sunday Scribblings #63: The Rubaiyat and Being Grateful for Spring

This week, I bring to you the Rubaiyat for Poetic Sundays as I try to bask in the warmth outside. I am grateful spring is here now (to stay hopefully). It is nice to be able to step out without adding on layers, and to keep the doors to our backyard open to let the light and air in.

And yes, while spring made its way strongly, I took a break away from here for a few days this week. It was that wonderful to spend time outside! Maybe I should spend the coming weeks outside with my laptop….and not be away from either my blog or the spring-filled outdoors at the same time!

What about where you live? How is the weather there?

Sunday Scribblings #62: Where I am Thinking In All Directions

Poetic Sundays

The Rubaiyat Poetic Form

This week I am traveling again (well virtually in the world of verse) – and my destination is Persia. And the poetic delight I bring to you from there is the Rubaiyat.

What is the Rubaiyat (sin. Rubai) Poetic Form?

The rubaiyat is actually many ruba’i (the Arabic term for a quatrain). So many rubai strung together make a rubaiyat. The form is an ancient one, in fact more than a thousand years old, and was created by a Muslim mystic named Abul Hassan Rodeki.

It was later popularized by Omar Khayyam (1048-1133), and you can read the translated version of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat here. Edward FitzGerald’s translation of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat slowly led to many English poets using the form. One of them was Robert Frost, and one of his poems using this form is  Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

In classical Persian poetry, the ruba’i or the quatrain, is written either as four lines or two couplets, and a rhyme-scheme AABA or AAAA (and with 24 meters).  It often has enjambment (continuing a sentence or thought) between the first two or the last two lines of the rubai. (I have seen both mentioned in sources across the internet).

The Rubaiyat’s Characteristics

So the Rubaiyat’s elements are that it is

  • stanzaic: composed of a single quatrain in it’s simplest form (where it is known as a ruba’i); and a collection of ruba’i  make a ruba’iyat
  • syllabic: Each line is decasyllabic (ten syllables)
  • rhymed: each ruba’i follows a rhyme scheme of AABA or AAAA; and the ruba’iyat (more than one quatrain) has a rhyme scheme of AABA, BBCB, CCDC, and so on. A variation of this form links the final stanza back to the first one by rhyming the third line of the final stanza to the primary rhyme of the first stanza
  • metered: though not a requirement, many poets use iambic pentameter (but the poet can make changes or extensions to this, or write using the rhythm of normal speech)
  • themed: traditional themes were lyrical, epic, or historical; and many ruba’iyat were written with emotion in mind. Again, this is the poet’s choice
  • a form that often uses enjambment: thoughts continue between either the lines of the first or the second couplet (I noted both mentioned across the internet)

h/t: wikipedia, thanetwriters

So this is how it looks

For a three-rubai rubaiyat:


xxxxxxxxxa or xxxxxxxxxd

My Example

My attempt is a ruba’i (one quatrain) .. not much of an attempt(!). Do read the linked Rubaiyat of Khayyam and Frost’s poems as better examples of the form!!

Weary Rubai
Writing a rubai is hard work indeed
when the clock’s hands say it is sleep I need.
I tried to write about love, life, laughter
but my weary brain, to sleep did concede!

– Vidya @ ladyinreadwrites

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Poetic Sundays - The Rubaiyat


On My Blog

As I mentioned earlier, this week was a quieter blogging week for me. So here are the posts that made it out..

Elsewhere & On the Home Front

I participated in a Bookish Blog Hop with a few other book bloggers; it was fun thinking up the answers to the prompts for each day. It was even more fun discovering more book blogs and bloggers.

At home, things were as per usual. We are keeping fingers crossed that schools will reopen for in-person classes (at least partially) before the end of this school year. My older one will be graduating from high school and I know they have missed out on several senior year events as well as just the senior year atmosphere of being in a classroom together. So hopefully they can get just a little bit of that.


On My Blog and Home Front

I hope to finally review some of the reviews of books I read over the past few weeks here as well as a couple of the Cybils reads that I really want to share here. And a couple other different posts as well.

On the home front, I will be spending time in our garden as spring makes its way more fully here.

This Week’s Celebrations

Literary and Other Celebrations:
Foodie Celebrations
Week Long
  • International Women’s Week
  • No More Week

Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, this was it for my Sunday Scribblings. I would love to hear your comments on my post(s), poetic Sunday section, and anything else. And which of these days do you plan to celebrate (or any other)? Also, I do look forward to reading your poems (if you have attempted one or the other forms so far?!) 

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

32 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #63: The Rubaiyat and Being Grateful for Spring

  1. How exciting, National Plant a Flower Day is on my birthday! Glad you got to enjoy some nice weather, we’ve had sunny and warm days also. Lia wants to plant her garden!

  2. I wonder if the rubaiyat is the most common form for children’s poetry. So many picture books are written in rhyme that I have come to dislike it for its sing-song quality. On the other hand, there are few poems I love more than Frost’s.

    I do hope your oldest gets the opportunity to experience some of those iconic senior moments before graduating.

    Our vegetable garden is planted. We are holding our breath to see if our oleanders and azaleas rise again before replanting our flowers.

  3. It’s great to read an article like this, it’s very informative and detail. Poetry is such a great form of literature as many can easily relate and grasp the content of what the writer is expressing.

  4. Spring is around the corner and we are super excited too! That’s a great poetry you wrote and fun too. Definitely a wonderful way to express yourself as well. I hope that your oldest gets to go back to school even if it was only for a short time. It’s hard to imagine what the kids have lost out on during this pandemic. Have a great rest of your week!

    Maureen |

  5. I love that you include a list of fun and wacky holidays! I hope spring is there to stay for you! We aren’t quite there yet as we are supposed to get a couple of feet of snow this weekend. But we had a 70 degree day yesterday which gave me hope that spring isn’t far away!

    1. It has been two weeks since I wrote that post and am finally getting back to responding to comments.. The weather moved from cold to spring-y to chilly and windy now all over again..

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