adBlockCheck

Culture

Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.
End Of Section
  • More News

I Could Write A Better Rubaiyat Than That Khayyam Dipshit

Down at the loading dock, me and the guys get into a lot of good-natured scraps about sports teams and movies and whatnot. Sure, it gets a little heated sometimes, but it's always in good fun. When it comes to poetry, though, there are days when I just want to haul off and punch their sorry faces.

Especially Tony. I mean, he's entitled to his opinion and all, and if he doesn't acknowledge that Keats was the greatest English poet of the 19th century, that doesn't make him evil or nothing. But when he starts mouthing off about The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam being one of the five greatest poems ever, I want to clock him in the nuts. The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam? A towering achievement that stands beside the likes of Beowulf and The Faerie Queen? What the fuck is Tony smoking, and where can I get some?

I've owned one copy or another of that steaming pile of turd since I was 10 years old, and I never once got past the halfway mark. I could write a better Rubaiyat than that, and I've never been published. I swear, that thing's worse than The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.

When I was a kid, I just figured it was Edward Fitzgerald's translation that was lacking. I was certain I'd learn to love the poem when a more authoritative version finally came out. But in the years that followed, none of the other translations held my attention, either. Whether it was E.H. Whinfield's so-called "definitive" version or A.J. Arberry's, one thing remained constant: The Rubaiyat blew.

Still not convinced that such a classic poem could be that bad, I learned Arabic so I could read it in the original text. And you know what? It still sucked! Jesus, I can't tell you how awful it was. It may actually have been worse in Arabic than in any of the English translations. They should call Omar Khayyam "Ozymandias Khayyam," because when I look on his works, I despair!

If Khayyam's Rubaiyat was all you had to go on, you'd think Islam was some stuffy, soulless religion, not the vibrant, living faith it is. Khayyam's ham-fisted quasi-narrative leaves any sensible reader flipping back and forth between quatrains to remember exactly what he said just four lines before. How in holy hell did this train wreck of a poem ever get published? Omar Khayyam Sr. must have run a publishing house or something.

Not that it's saying much, but I could kick some major Rubaiyat ass compared to that Khayyam hack. The Rubaiyat Of Gord Hunsacker would be, well, shit, it would be publishable, which is more than I can say for Khayyam's.

This is just off the top of my head. I'm not even calling this all that great or anything, but here's at least a passable quatrain that muses upon man's mortality:

Woe betide man for his shortness of days,

Soon to be dust though frantically he prays.

Envy the mountain, a million years here,

A billion, too; and it evermore stays.

You see? Now, that's a Rubaiyat. A couple hundred more lines like those, and you'd have a goddamn Rubaiyat you wouldn't be ashamed to tell your friends you wrote!

Now, of course, the guys down at the dock always ask me, "If you could do so much better, why don't you?" They're totally missing the point! I got a wife and kids to support! I can't just quit my job to write another Rubaiyat, no matter how much better it'd be than Omar Fucking Dipshit Khayyam's.

I just wish I could hop in a time machine and travel back to 12th Century Khorasan. I'd tell Khayyam to stick to math and astronomy, and leave the poetry to folks who have a friggin' clue.

More from this section

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

Close