What Is the Main Topic of the Poem “Rubaiyat”?

The “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” traces the journey of the narrator and his companion through the day while ruminating on the nature of life, love and spirituality. This description derives from Edward Fitzgerald’s 19th-century translation of the 12th-century Persian poem, explains eNotes.com.

The work begins with a call to seize the day. Alcohol, especially wine, is referenced throughout the poem. The symbolic importance of the cup as a source of vitality is quite significant. Fitzgerald’s translation takes significant liberties with the original work, and the exact content varies between versions. A particularly famous passage, the 12th quatrain of Fitzgerald’s fifth edition, describes the comfort and satisfaction the speaker takes in a quiet moment with his beloved.