A Rubaiyat is a type of poem that utilizes quatrains in the execution of its expression. A Rubaiyat is (the plural form of rubai) a Persian created concept of poetry, composed using these quatrains. Interestingly, the word "Rubaiyat" is the plural form of the word "Ruba" (which means four). To understand the Rubai, you must first know your way around a quatrain. A quatrain is, as one might expect, a group made up of four parts. Derived from the French word, "quatre" (which was originally derived from the Latin word "Quattuor"), this word has been in use since the sixteenth century. More specifically, in relation to poetry, it is composed of four lines of text. Each rubai can contain as many or as few four-line paragraphs (quatrains) as the writer wishes. These "poetic paragraphs" are called stanzas.
Within each stanza of a poem, you will find a rhyme. With rubai, there is a specified pattern by which these quatrains must rhyme. This is called the meter. The rhymes must occur as follows: AA, bA
An example would be:
I came to teach you to rhyme (A)
and pen verses, so sublime (A)
if you listen close, to me (b)
you'll pick it up in no time (A)
In short, to write a proper rubai, the stanzas of your piece must follow the AA, bA meter. There is no room for error, in this detail. A rubaiyat contains stanzas of four lines of verse. Each stanza will have lines 1,2, and 4 rhyming. Line 3 is free, and does NOT rhyme with the other lines of verse.
Rubaiyat is the plural version of Rubai. The Rubai is a very simple quatrain with a complex nature because it must explain its entire nature within the two lines. In another word, the book starts and ends with two line stanza. The rhyming of Rubai is AA, bA, but if you decide to do more than one Rubai, then the rhyming of your Rubaiyat could BB, aB and consequently, CC, bC and so on. The rhyming and the meter of each Rubai must be the same throughout and if you decide to do Rubaiyat, all stanzas must have the same meter but different rhyming patterns and follow the same frame of thoughts.
The Rubaiyat is a Persian form of several quatrains. Its name derives from the Arabic plural of the word for "quatrain". This, in turn, comes from the Arabic Rubá, meaning "four."
a - 2nd line rhymes with the first.
a - 4th line rhymes with the first and second
Rubaiyat Poem Example
These are some of the favorite quatrains from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward Fitzgerald:
Wake! For the Sun who scattered into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heaven and Strikes
The Sultan's Turret with a Shaft of Light.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
The Winter garment of Repentance fling;
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly - and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
[Stanza 7, 1st edition]
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread -- and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness --
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.