Sunday, August 04, 2002
Dear Neil,

On Warning:Contains Language, you have a bit called "Being an Experiment...", in which you mention Omar Khayyam and Heathcliff Williams. Are these actual writers or are they nods to _The Land of the Green Ginger_ or some other works that I don't know about?

Heathcote Williams is a real poet and writer and occasional actor, who really did write a poem about the mighty elephant with the anthill information in it. It's a famous, well-respected poem about a wonderful animal, and I am a very wicked person to find that bit of it so funny.

And Omar Khayyam was a poet a thousand years ago who wrote a Rubaiyat, famously translated by Edward Fitzgerald (about 5 times, each time differently).
Here's a page devoted to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (In real life Khayyam was also a mathematician. In the Land of Green Ginger he's a poetic tentmaker who can't pwonounce his Rs.)

PS according to one website "Rubaiyat are independent quatrains, most often written with the first, second and fourth lines rhyming."