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February 5, 1898

Rubaiyat—a Persian Quatrain.

JAMA. 1898;XXX(6):330. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440580046008

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Abstract

Chicago, Jan. 15, 1898.

To the Editor:  —In your review of the book, the "Rubáiyát of Doc. Sifers," you fail to tell us what Rubáiyát means. Will you kindly supply the defect? Yours very truly, S.

Answer  —We quote the following from a work in the Public Library on Persian literature: "His poetry is wholly composed of independent stanzas, called Rubáiyát, consisting each of four lines of equal, though varied, prosody; sometimes all rhyming, but oftener the third line a blank. As usual with such Oriental verse, the Rubáiyát follow one another according to alphabetic rhyme—a strange succession of grave and gay... At all events each Rubá'iy is a separate poem and, however composed, finds its place in the manuscripts in accordance with its alphabetic arrangements and not its content. The late M. J. Darmesteter describes the Rubá'iy as a poem complete in itself, with its own unity of form

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