The Rubaiyat : Quatrain XI


Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

This is the eleventh quatrain of Fitzgerald's The Rubaiyat. It seems continuation of the previous two quatrains where poet implores him to let go of the glories of the past and come with him to the edge of the settlement, where the complications of civilization would not be there. Khayyam says here at this place, far from the trials and tribulations of life, we will with a loaf of bread beneath a large tree and with a bottle of wine and also a book of poems, we will sing in the wilderness and this wilderness would be our small paradise. Away from the society of men, away from the charm of a home, we will take refuge on the margins of the desert and there we will take out our loaf of baked bread in shade of a tree. We will cherish the food we have with a flask of wine doing the rounds between us and singing songs from a small book of poems. In this wilderness, in this what we call as paradise we will live in careless abandon with whatever little we have! A piece of bread, some wine, a song, a dear friend and a tree to rest on, what else does a man wish for in this small life! isn't this what paradise is?

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