On April 21, I attended the opening of the second annual Khayy’am Day. This day celebrates the life of Omar Khayy’am, a prominent Persian poet and mathematician. A statue of him sits outside the newly renamed Farzaneh Hall.
The reception was relaxed and casual. I ate baklava for the first time. I’m not the biggest honey or pastry person, but I’m trying to be a more adventurous eater. I watched a Persian calligrapher write as well. I have no knowledge of the Persian alphabet or language, but his work looked beautiful.
Amid this, Persian-language students recited poems by Khayy’am. The poetry reading drew me to the event. I could only stay long enough to hear a few poems, but I think the students did an excellent job. After the recitations, faculty members explained their meanings. My favorite line was something like “I am the ocean and the pearl inside the ocean.” I think the metaphor captures how someone can be both fierce and gentle, loud and quiet.
Unfortunately, I left for class before the day’s lecture about Khayy’am, but I enjoyed the exposure to Persian culture. I also liked the reminder through Khayy’am’s poetry that many feelings are universal to the human experience.