THE BIRD OF LIFE – Omar Khayyam



THE BIRD OF LIFE – Omar Khayyam

The bird of life is singing on the bough
His two eternal notes of “I and Thou”
O! hearken well, for soon the song sings through
And, would we hear it, we must hear it now

The bird of life is singing in the sun
Short is his song, nor just begun
A call, a trill, a rapture, then-so soon!
A silence, and the song is done-is done

Yea! What is man that deems himself divine?
Man is flagon, and his soul the wine;
Man is read, his soul the sound therein;
Man is the lantern, and his soul the shine

Would you be happy, hearken, then the way
Heeed not TO-MORROW, heed not YESTERDAY
The magic words of life are HERE and NOW
O fools, that after tomorrow stray

Were I a Sultan, say what greater bliss
Were I to summon to my side than this
Dear gleaming face, far brighter than the moon
O love! and this immortalizing kiss

To all of us the thought of heaven is dear
Why not be sure of it and make it here?
No doubt there is a heaven younder too
But ’tis so far away- and you are near

Men talk of heaven- there is no heaven but here
Men talk of hell- there is no hell but here
Men of hereafters talk, and future lives
O love, there is no other life-but here

Gay little moon, that hath not understood!
She claps her hands, and calls the red wine good
O careless and beloved , if she knew
This wine she fancies is my true heart’s blood

Girl, have you any thought what your eyes mean?
You must have stolen them from some dead queen
O little empty laughing soul that sings
And dances tell me- what do your eyes meam?

And all this body of ivory and myrrh
O gard it with some love and care
Know your own wonder, worship it with me
See how I fall before it deep in prayer

Nor idle I who speak it, nor profane
This playful wisdom growing out of pain
How many midnights whitened into morn
before the seeker knew he sought in vain

You want to know the secret-so did I
Low in the dust I sought it, and on high
Sought it in aweful flights from star to star
The Sultan’s watchman of the starry sky

Up up, where Parween hooves stamped heaven’s floor
My soul went knocking at each starry door
Till on the silly top of heaven’s stair
Clear eyed I looked-and laughed- and climbed no more

Of all my seeking this is all my gain:
No agony of any mortal brain
Shall wrest the secret of the life of man;
The search had taught me that the search is vain

Yet sometimes on a sudden all seems clear-
Hush! hush! my soul, the secret draweth near;
Make silence ready for the speech divine-
If heaven should speak, and there be none to hear!

Yea, sometimes on the instance all seems plain,
The simple sun could tell us, or the rain
The world, caught dreaming with a look of heaven
Seems on a sudden tip-toe to explain

Like to a maid who exquisitely turns
A promising face to him who, waiting, burns
In hell to hear her answer-so the world
Tricks all, and hints what no man learns

Look not above, there is no answer there
Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer
NEAR is as near to God as any FAR
And HERE is just the same deceit as THERE

But here are wine and beautiful young girls
Be wise and hide your sorrows in the curls
Dive as you will in life’s mysterious sea
You shall not bring us any better pearls

Allah, perchance, the secret word might spell
If Allah be, He keeps his secret well
What have he hidden, who shall hope to find?
Shall God His secret to a moggot tell?

So since with all my passion and my skill
The world’s mysteries meaning mocks me still
Shall I not piously believe that I
Am kept in darkness by heavenly will?

How sad to be a woman-not to know
Aught of the glory of this breast of snow
All unconcerned to comb this mighty hair
To be a woman and never know

Where I a woman. I would all day long
Sing my own beauty in some holy song
Bend low before it, hushed and half afraid
And say “I am a woman” all day long

The Koran! well , come put me to the test-
a lovely old book in hideous errors drest-
Believe me, I can quote the Koran too
The unbeliever knows his Kuran best

And do you think that unto such as you
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew
God gave the secret, and denied it me?
Well, well, what matters it! believe that too

Old Khayam, say you, is a debauchee;
If only you were half so good as he!
He sins no sins but gentle drunkenness
Great-hearted mirth, and kind adultery

But yours the cold hearted, and the murderous tongues,
The wintry soul that hates to hear a song,
The close-shut fist, mean and measuring eyes,
And all the little poisoned of wrong

So I be written in the book of love,
I have no care about that book above,
Erase my name, or write it, as you please-
So I be written in the book of love.

What care I, love, for what the sufis say?
The sufis are but drunk another way;
So you be druk, it matters not the means,
So you be druk-and glorify your clay

Drunken myself, and with a merry mind,
An old man passed me, all in vine-leaves twined;
I said, “old man, hast thou forgotten God?”
“Go, drink yourself, ” he said, “for God is kind.”

“Did God set the grapes a-growing, do you think,
And at the same time make it sin to drink?
Give thanks to Him who foreordained it thus-
Surely He loves to hear the glasses clink!

From God’s own hands this earthly vessel came,
He, shaped it thus, be it for fame or shame;
If it be fair- to God be all the praise,
If it be foul-to God alone the blame

To me there is much comfort in the thought
That all our agonies can alter nought,
Our lives are written to their latest word,
We but repeat a lesson He hath taught

Our wildest wrong is part of His great Right
Our weakness is the shadow of His might,
Our sins are His, forgiven long ago
To make His mercy more exceeding bright

When first the stars were made and planets seven,
Already was it told of me in Heaven
That God had chosen me to sing His vine,
And in my dust had thrown the vinous leaven

About The Poet :

Khayyam was a noted mathematician who wrote pioneering works on algebra and geometry, including algorithms for expanding binomials and solving cubic equations by means of conic sections. He was a renowned astronomer as well; he correctly measured the length of the solar year to six decimal places and contributed to a standardization of the Persian calendar which is still used today. Khayyam’s calendar, the so-called Jalali calendar, is complicated but more accurate than today’s widely-used Gregorian system. Khayyam may also have proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system several hundred years before Copernicus.

Although Khayyam does not seem to have been an atheist, the poem is strikingly unorthodox in its tone, dissenting from the established Islam of the poet’s day and scorning the ideas of an afterlife or a god who performs miracles or gives revelations.


A Succulent Life


you you we wake up look out the window get watered look out the window some more that’s the routine

they say the world revolves around it’s the only thing anyone seems to have on their mind

how much water they have

when they’ll be watered again and how much water they’ll receive

I don’t really care about water

I wonder what it would be to feel the uneven skin of a tree

what it would be to see its leaves flutter and dance on the tips of its fingered branches moved by a wind whispering on nature’s behalf

they say I’m foolish for wanting something so unrealistic wanting more for myself maybe they’re just trying to protect me from failure

the same failure that may have burned them in their past

but if you never get burned

if you never feel the lick of the plane how can you say that you’ve lived they say that following your dreams is scary

I believe that not following them is scarier

I’m scared of the reality in which I never swing on the swing go up and down on the seesaw or go down the slide

I’m scared of that reality more than I am of the one in which I’m bleeding covered in worms are engulfed in flames

and if I ever break my paws or end up alone somewhere along the way

I know that will all have been worth it in the end

because the day you stop believing the day you stop wanting will be the day in which the greatest crime of all will have been committed the crime of not having lived at all

funny isn’t it how the world works

how people work here

today here iam, i’ll be tomorrow you.


“Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.”
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice and Other Tales

“It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.”
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

“In books we never find anything but ourselves. Strangely enough, that always gives us great pleasure, and we say the author is a genius.”
Thomas Mann

“Nothing is more curious and awkward than the relationship of two people who only know each other with their eyes — who meet and observe each other daily, even hourly and who keep up the impression of disinterest either because of morals or because of a mental abnormality. Between them there is listlessness and pent-up curiosity, the hysteria of an unsatisfied, unnaturally suppressed need for communion and also a kind of tense respect. Because man loves and honors man as long as he is not able to judge him, and desire is a product of lacking knowledge.”
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice and Other Tales

“A solitary, unused to speaking of what he sees and feels, has mental experiences which are at once more intense and less articulate than those of a gregarious man. They are sluggish, yet more wayward, and never without a melancholy tinge. Sights and impressions which others brush aside with a glance, a light comment, a smile, occupy him more than their due; they sink silently in, they take on meaning, they become experience, emotion, adventure. Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.”
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice and Other Tales

“He who loves the more is the inferior and must suffer.”
Thomas Mann

“This was love at first sight, love everlasting: a feeling unknown, unhoped for, unexpected–in so far as it could be a matter of conscious awareness; it took entire possession of him, and he understood, with joyous amazement, that this was for life.”
Thomas Mann

“A harmful truth is better than a useful lie.”
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

“It is most certainly a good thing that the world knows only the beautiful opus but not its origins, not the conditions of its creation; for if people knew the sources of the artist’s inspiration, that knowledge would often confuse them, alarm them, and thereby destroy the effects of excellence. strange hours! strangely enervating labor! bizarrely fertile intercourse of the mind with a body!”
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice and Other Tales

“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.”
André Malraux

“What is Man? A miserable little pile of secrets.”
André Malraux

“The great mystery is not that we should have been thrown down here at random between the profusion of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our very prison we should draw, from our own selves, images powerful enough to deny our own nothingness.”
André Malraux

“The attempt to force human beings to despise themselves is what I call hell.”
André Malraux

“Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.”
André Malraux

“When You Are Old”

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.”
W.B. Yeats

“I will arise and go now,
And go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there,
Of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there,
A hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there,
For peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning
To where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer,
And noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings

I will arise and go now,
For always night and day
I hear lake water lapping
With low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway
Or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”
W.B. Yeats

“THE FATHER: But don’t you see that the whole trouble lies here? In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.”
Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters In Search of an Author

“No name. No memory today of yesterday’s name; of today’s name, tomorrow. If the name is the thing; if a name in us is the concept of every thing placed outside of us; and without a name you don’t have the concept, and the thing remains in us as if blind, indistinct and undefined: well then, let each carve this name that I bore among men, a funeral epigraph, on the brow of that image in which I appeared to him, and then leave it in peace, and let there be no more talk about it. It is fitting for the dead. For those who have concluded. I am alive and I do not conclude. Life does not conclude. And life knows nothing of names. This tree, tremulous pulse of new leaves. I am this tree. Tree, cloud; tomorrow book or wind: the book I read, the wind I drink. All outside, wandering.”
Luigi Pirandello, One, None, and One Hundred Thousand

“This is the real drama for me; the belief that we all, you see, think of ourselves as one single person: but it’s not true: each of us is several different people, and all these people live inside us. With one person we seem like this and with another we seem very different. But we always have the illusion of being the same person for everybody and of always being the same person in everything we do. But it’s not true! It’s not true! We find this out for ourselves very clearly when by some terrible chance we’re suddenly stopped in the middle of doing something and we’re left dangling there, suspended. We realize then, that every part of us was not involved in what we’d been doing and that it would be a dreadful injustice of other people to judge us only by this one action as we dangle there, hanging in chains, fixed for all eternity, as if the whole of one’s personality were summed up in that single, interrupted action.”
Luigi Pirandello

“We all have a world of things inside ourselves and each one of us has his own private world. How can we understand each other if the words I use have the sense and the value that I expect them to have, but whoever is listening to me inevitably thinks that those same words have a different sense and value, because of the private world he has inside himself, too.”
Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author

“But only in order to know if you, as you really are now, see yourself as you once were with all the illusions that were yours then, with all the things both inside and outside of you as they seemed to you – as they were then indeed for you. Well, sir, if you think of all those illusions that mean nothing to you now, of all those things which don’t even seem to you to exist any more, while once they were for you, don’t you feel that – I won’t say these boards – but the very earth under your feet is sinking away from you when you reflect that in the same way this you as you feel it today – all this present reality of yours – is fated to seem a mere illusion to you tomorrow?”
Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author

“I present myself to you in a form suitable to the relationship I wish to achieve to you.”
Luigi Pirandello

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”
Frida Kahlo

“I love you more than my own skin and even though you don’t love me the same way, you love me anyways, don’t you? And if you don’t, I’ll always have the hope that you do, and i’m satisfied with that. Love me a little. I adore you.”
Frida Kahlo

“I hope the exit is joyful and i hope never to return.”
Frida Kahlo

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
Frida Kahlo

“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
Frida Kahlo

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”
Frida Kahlo

“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”
Frida Kahlo

“I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.”
Frida Kahlo

“I want to be inside your darkest everything”
Frida Kahlo, The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

“I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of “madness”. Then: I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: “Poor thing, she’s crazy!” (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.) I would build my world which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds. The day, or the hour, or the minute that I lived would be mine and everyone else’s – my madness would not be an escape from “reality”.”
Frida Kahlo

“You deserve a lover who wants you disheveled, with everything and all the reasons that wake you up in a haste and the demons that won’t let you sleep.
You deserve a lover who makes you feel safe, who can consume this world whole if he walks hand in hand with you; someone who believes that his embraces are a perfect match with your skin.
You deserve a lover who wants to dance with you, who goes to paradise every time he looks into your eyes and never gets tired of studying your expressions.
You deserve a lover who listens when you sing, who supports you when you feel shame and respects your freedom; who flies with you and isn’t afraid to fall.
You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.”
Frida Kahlo

“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.”
Frida Kahlo

“You deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts.”
Frida Kahlo

“pain, pleasure and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence”
Frida Kahlo, The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

“I love you more than my own skin.”
Frida Kahlo

“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

“But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”
D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

“Love is never a fulfillment. Life is never a thing of continuous bliss. There is no paradise. Fight and laugh and feel bitter and feel bliss: and fight again. Fight, fight. That is life.”
D.H. Lawrence

“Nobody knows you.
You don’t know yourself.
And I, who am half in love with you,
What am I in love with?
My own imaginings?”
D.H. Lawrence, The Complete Poems

“I should feel the air move against me, and feel the things I touched, instead of having only to look at them. I’m sure life is all wrong because it has become much too visual – we can neither hear nor feel nor understand, we can only see. I’m sure that is entirely wrong.”
D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

“Life is ours to be spent, not to
be saved.”
D.H. Lawrence

“I love trying things and discovering how I hate them.”
D.H. Lawrence

“I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets.”
D.H. Lawrence

“Instead of chopping yourself down to fit the world, chop the world down to fit yourself. ”
D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love

“There’s lots of good fish in the sea…maybe…but the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you’re not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.”
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

“no form of love is wrong, so long as it is love, and you yourself honour what you are doing. Love has an extraordinary variety of forms! And that is all there is in life, it seems to me. But I grant you, if you deny the variety of love you deny love altogether. If you try to specialize love into one set of accepted feelings, you wound the very soul of love. Love must be multi-form, else it is just tyranny, just death”
D.H. Lawrence

“the damage done to us during our childhood cannot be undone, since we cannot change anything in our past. we can repair ourselves and gain our lost integrity by choosing to look more honestly at the knowledge that is stored inside our bodies and bringing that knowledge closer to our awareness.”
Alice Miller

“Money poisons you when you’ve got it, and starves you when you haven’t.”
D.H. Lawrence

“The grandiose person is never really free; first because he is excessively dependent on admiration from others, and second, because his self-respect is dependent on qualities, functions, and achievements that can suddenly fail.”
Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self

“Contempt is the weapon of the weak and a defense against one’s own despised and unwanted feelings.”
Alice Miller



Then the sun passed over me and went into darkness. I saw the light and comprehended it not. I felt the beckoning of the abyss. The sorrow of damnation tore at my flesh, and yet my cries for mercy renewed me upon the stage of suffering. My tears were dry, and burned my flesh, and I writhed in agony.

Before my eyes flashed my eternity, growing ever distant, like a star zooming away into the horizon, and my soul reaching out to its fading light. And before my eyes, these moments, became a spectacle to me, of my own ignorance, and I felt them magnified and press down upon my being, their revelation casting shadows upon me, their shadows a single drop of a rain in the storm that consumed me, the storm of darkness, the eternal darkness, which seized within itself, the great abomination, a festering wound, an endless upheaval.



All my life is appearing in front of me, clsoed inside a box. Everything that is inside is unfinished. For a moment I try to judge it. I try to say to myself that it was a beautiful life. But I cant.

Because it is only an unfinished sketch. Acting eternity, I understood nothing.

Sad for the kid, I dont really like this kid. So thin, fear has disfigured him. Before he was handsome, and now even if they let him free. He will never be young again.

I cant have pity, cause pity makes me sick. Death, death disenchanters everything.

I see it all in front of me like a picture, probably it hurts a lot. It is not like an ordinary pain, it is totally different.

I try to understand it, but is seems like a nightmare. I can really imagine it, and then it evades me. Exactly when I reach it, it is not there. I am not, we are not made to think like this. I dont feel nothing, I felt nothing.

Last night, I would give everything to see her once more. Now I dont know if I want to see her. My body is gray. Im the one who will die, I cant take anything from her eyes anymore. Im alone.

In death we are all alone.
He is alive and trembling in the cold.
He is a man that thinks about tomorrow, about a future full of life.

I have to touch myself to know that im alive. Sometimes I feel like fading into nothing. If they would let me go now, in the state iam, nothing would change.

If i have couple of hours, or If I have couple of years left, it is not important anymore. I have lost that sense of immortality.

My friendship with him died last night. Together with my love for Alma, and with wish to hold on to life. No life is worthier than mine!

But you know what? fuck the resistance, fuck the cause, fuck ideals, when you die nothing is important anymore. Nevertheless I could save myself but I dont do it. Strange, why I dont do it?

What a blast, to send all these idiots to run for nothing at all. Tighten your belt, give orders, go you trained monkeys.

I could not resist not to make fun of them, Im going to die anyway.