OUT OF THESE EYES : A Modern Omar Khayam (Illustrated Edition) - by Soma AMRITAH
Amritah's most accessible work is now available in its first UK 'Illustrated Edition' as a PDF (Print Replica). Popular for over twenty years, this is the poetry cycle that was first released in English. The earlier 'White Edition' is available separately as a PDF eBook.
"At that instant a scorpion crosses the skies - its sun-scorched tail awakens my eyes. Its voice I hear whisper these words in my ears, they were uttered before but their sense was unclear : 'forget where you came from, forget who you are, the past is forgotten, the future too far.' " Soma Amritah
Original Translators' Note to the Illustrated Edition: "For those unfamiliar with the poetry or fiction of the Persian author Soma Amritah, this translation of the travel chronicle 'Out of these Eyes' is an ideal introduction to his work, combining both the lyrical and the 'dramatic' within one volume.
'Out of these Eyes' is the story of a journey into the unknown. A journey into a desert. A journey into the heart of the human being. Therefore, unlike a haphazard collection of poetry, it is advisable for the reader to pursue the work from beginning to end in order to derive most value from it - each poem being to some degree intelligible on its own though only making complete sense as constituent parts of the work as a whole.
Are we in Africa or the Orient - and where is the "land without name"? We are drawn into the journey of another and stage by stage it becomes our own. It has parallelisms with the interior journey that each of us make, - from birth to death, from love to reminiscence, from ignorance to knowing (interaction and progression of reality and mind).
We are led inside the tale through a mysterious voyeur whose consciousness becomes one with that of a man he is observing through a keyhole. It is at this point that the 'story proper' begins - though not where author's narrative playfulness ends. We are then transposed into the point of view of the man in the "Dark Chamber", pursuing his story in the first person singular, though from the meeting with "The Stranger" onwards a second character appears to take on narrative primacy. What then are we to make of the pronouncement:"I am Soma Amritah, I am the immortal dream" ? Is it possible that the author is literally and 'real'ly the stranger?
The terse style (generally progressing in punctual four-line stanzas), the 'poetized' drama, the search for knowledge and the landscape of the orient - these are all recognizable hallmarks of Soma Amritah's work. Born in Bagdhad in 1972, raised around the ancient town of 'Uruk' (Erech) in the South and educated in the ancient Persian languages as well as the modern dialects, Amritah plays with the meaning of words as much as with ambiguities of sense and the rhythms of space and silence.
As for the source of the semi-biblical verse numbering of the original Persian edition, this is unknown - they are absent from all Amritah's other works. Nor have we been able to ascertain whether they were placed there by him or by the original publisher, though for the sake of completeness and accuracy in representing the original they have also been included in this text. Perhaps they are no more than a means whereby to locate any part of the text numerically, or perhaps they do have deeper numerological significance, as in the case of the sectional numberings.
Finally, concerning the new subtitle to the work: 'A Modern Omar Khayám'. This is based on the original dedication of the volume -"To Omar Khayám". However, though these words were scored out and replaced by the words "For the Traveller" at the time of the second edition - maybe so as to address his audience more directly - the name of the Rubáiyát's author is included in the sub-title as an indication of the similar tenor of the poetry as also of its mystical content.
Features of this Edition: Exact same cover as the UK 'Illustrated Edition'; introductory note; thought-provoking quotations throughout; complete unabridged text of the 2nd Edition.