Edward FitzGerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is an enormous accomplishment although it is not true to the original Persian (the Avery/Heath-Stubbs version is more faithful). Another important fact to note is that FitzGerald worked on his translation over a period of several decades and eventually published four different editions. Modern editions are often a compilation of bits and pieces from each of FitzGerald's four editions, something that doesn't always make for the smoothest reading. This Critical Edition, edited by Christopher Decker, goes a long way towards overcoming these problems.
In this edition, an introduction written by Decker provides very good and much needed background for Khayyam's work. Most importantly, all four of the author's editions are included in their entirety, first individually and then, in an appendix, by quatrain, so one can compare the texts. A table providing the sequence of the quatrains is also provided, a pronunciation guide and a small glossary. An added bonus, to be found only in this edition, I believe, is the inclusion of FitzGerald's Latin translation of the poems.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is beautiful and classic poetry encompassing simple quatrains where East seems to meet West in a mingling of Eastern mysticism and Western language and expression of the nineteenth century.
Anyone who is serious about these gorgeous poems will find this text most useful. Although this is not the most visually beautiful of the translations, it is certainly the most comprehensive and the one that will most enhance your knowledge. Definitely worthy of adding to your collection. In fact, a necessity.