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?
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)
So this is how it looks
For a three-rubai rubaiyat:
xxxxxxxxxa or xxxxxxxxxd
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!!
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
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..
- Sunday Scribblings #62: Where I am Thinking In All Directions
- The Superlative Magic of Graphic Novels
- 10 Jobs For People Who Love Books
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:
- International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th each year, as is National Proofreading Day
- We all have something that went wrong – a failed test, a lost opportunity, or something else. And this day is an effort to move on, stop wallowing, and to get over it – whatever the “it” is. It is National Get Over it Day on the 9th of March.
- I am guessing many of you have played a Mario game in one form or the other. The first time I played Mario was on his quest to save the princess using joysticks. And I remember my mom surprising us all by besting us at the game! Mario has a day all his own as it is National Mario Day on March 10th.
- March 11th is apparently- National Worship of Tools Day. In southern India, we have an annual celebration set aside to worship all the instruments and tools of our trade, called Ayudha Puja (translated simply into puja – worship, of ayudha – instruments)
- The national day events send me a reminder to get working more on our garden! It is National Plant a Flower Day on the 12th of March.
- Be a good Samaritan on the 13th and everyday – National Good Samaritan Day for it does not cost much to be kind (well, often, does not cost anything at all)
- March 14th (National Pi Day) is the perfect date to celebrate math with the International Day of Mathematics. This year’s theme is Mathematics For a Better World
- The 14th of March is also National Children’s Craft Day, National Learn About Butterflies Day, and National Write Down Your Story Day
- 8th – National Peanut Cluster Day
- 9th – National Blueberry Popover Day
- 11th – National Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day
- 13th – National Coconut Torte Day
- 14th – National Potato Chip Day
- 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?!)