Wine, Words & Wednesday, No. 91 (Life is short, pour the wine now.)

Today’s words come to us from 11th century Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet, Omar Khayyám.

I’m not normally a consumer of 11th century Persian poetry (I’m mostly allergic to poetry, per se).  But yesterday, I posted a blog about Turkish wines (Turkey:  The Jan Brady of Wine) — and these words appear on the labels of the wines from Vinkara Vineyards.  I rather liked the words, and I was curious about their origin:


Khayyám is known for writing quatrains — short, four-line poems.  More specifically, Khayyám’s quatrains are “independent epigrammatic stanzas — in other words, short, spontaneous, self-contained poems.  Each one stands on its own.”1  

When once you hear the roses are in bloom,
Then is the time, my love, to pour the wine;
Houris and palaces and Heaven and Hell-
These are but fairy-tales, forget them all.

I did some very quick and very superficial research on Khayyám, and I learned there are certain themes that run throughout his poetry.  Khayyám wasn’t a believer in an afterlife, and he wrote frequently about the need to live and enjoy life in the present.

I’m terrible at poetry analysis (hence the poetry allergy), but I think I get this one:

Life is short.  Stop and smell the roses.  Drink the wine now.

1Flynn, Tom. The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2007.

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