The Rubai Form

The al Mavlavi compilation of the Dîvân-i Kebir

contains 1,867 rubáiyát [quatrains].

The rubai is the shortest poetic form used by Rumi. Each rubai has two couplets which make up a quatrain. In fact, rubai is the Arabic word for quatrain. Each rubai expresses a complete, epigrammatic idea. The first, second and fourth lines rhyme, while the third line is usually free.

   This form has been known in classic Islamic literature since the 10th century. However, it was an unknown form in the Western world until the late 1850s when the English poet Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883) published his translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam (1048-1131).

   The first rubáiyát of Rumi selections translated into English by Arthur (A.J.) Arberry (1005-1973) appeared in 1949 under the title Mystical Poems of Rumi 1, First Selection, Poems 1-200. 

Rubai 71

The Rubáiyát of Rumi, The Ergin Translations, page 48.

He is inside and outside of my heart.

He is the soul of my body.

He is my blood and my veins.

How could faith or heresy fit here?

I am absent. He is all of my existence.