Edward Fitzgerald

Rating: 5
Rating: 5

Edward Fitzgerald Biography

Edward FitzGerald was an English poet and writer, best known as the poet of the first and most famous English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Life

Fitzgerald was born near Woodbridge, Suffolk. He was one of eight children and his parents owned a number of estates in England and Ireland. He was educated at the King Edward VI Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge.

He spent most of his life in Suffolk where he lived the life of a country gentleman rarely travelling, except to London. He lived for sixteen years on his family estate at Boulge and spent the remainder of his life in Woodbridge.

In 1850 he married the daughter of the poet Bernard Barton whose biography he had penned previously. The marriage appears to have been an unhappy one and they separa ...

Edward Fitzgerald Comments

Richard Stanley-baker 13 November 2011

Edward Fitzgerald was a major literary figure, and poet, whose stature has probably not yet been fully appreciated. His translations of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat are gracious, penetrating, and brilliant: his best was the first one, which touches on the heart of mysteries of Sufism that had yet to be touched on in English literature. People who have expressed the view that the Rubaiyat is simply courtly hedonism are very much mistaken; the work to be read here is the commentary on Fitzgerald's work by Paramhansa Yogananda, edited by Donald Waters published by Crystal Clarity, Nevada. I find, as a poet myself, Fitzgerald's work to be utterly brilliant, and something that plumbs great depths. Richard Stanley-Baker

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The Best Poem Of Edward Fitzgerald

The Dream Called Life

From the Spanish of Pedro Calderon de la Barca


A dream it was in which I found myself.
And you that hail me now, then hailed me king,
In a brave palace that was all my own,
Within, and all without it, mine; until,
Drunk with excess of majesty and pride,
Methought I towered so big and swelled so wide
That of myself I burst the glittering bubble
Which my ambition had about me blown,
And all again was darkness. Such a dream
As this, in which I may be walking now,
Dispensing solemn justice to you shadows,
Who make believe to listen; but anon
Kings, princes, captains, warriors, plume and steel,
Aye, even with all your airy theatre,
May flit into the air you seem to rend
With acclamations, leaving me to wake
In the dark tower; or dreaming that I wake
From this that waking is; or this and that,
Both waking and both dreaming; such a doubt
Confounds and clouds our moral life about.
But whether wake or dreaming, this I know,
How dreamwise human glories come and go;
Whose momentary tenure not to break,
Walking as one who knows he soon may wake,
So fairly carry the full cup, so well
Disordered insolence and passion quell,
That there be nothing after to upbraid
Dreamer or doer in the part he played;
Whether tomorrow's dawn shall break the spell,
Or the last trumpet of the Eternal Day,
When dreaming, with the night, shall pass away.

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