Tamám ** Available Now! **
Simon Everett

Publication date June 2020


£5.00 Including P&P (Uk)


On December 1st 1948, the body of an unidentifiable man was found on Somerton beach, Adelaide, South Australia. A shred of paper was found in his pocket with the words “Tamám Shud” printed on it. This had been torn from a copy of Edward FitzGerald’s first edition translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. The copy of The Rubáiyát was eventually found with a letter-based code written in it. The code has never been deciphered and the man’s identity remains a mystery.

Tamám – Persian for “ending” – when stripped of its auxiliary verb, “shudan”, is incomplete: an ending without a definite end. In this manner, Everett’s reimagination/translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám continually reconfigures a burgeoning array of sources, leading the poet to forge slippery connections and form sketchy theories: of translation, of language and meaning, of forensics, and of the shifting identity of the Somerton Man. All the while, as the poet puts it, “life & leads slip I follow not even / circle ‘truth’ in dug outs market places / Wikileaks & off peak traffic”.

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