Persian literature was little known in the West before the 19th century. It became much better known following the publication of several translations from the works of late medieval Persian poets, and inspired works by various Western poets and writers, such as Matthew Arnold's poem Sohrab and Rustam.
Khayyam's poetry is familiar to the Western reader because of the well-known Edward FitzGerald rendering of his Rubaiyat. Less well known is the fact that Khayyam was also a mathematician, scientist, astronomer and philosopher. Amongst his contributions are the Jalali Calendar (more accurate than the Julian, and almost as accurate as the Gregorian intercalation system), contributions to algebra (geometric solution of cubic equations) and astronomical tables.
Rumi transcends national and ethnic borders. Over the centuries, he has had a significant influence on Persian as well as Urdu and Turkish literature. His poems have been widely translated into many languages.
The springtime of Lovers has come,
that this dust bowl may become a garden;
the proclamation of heaven has come,
that the bird of the soul may rise in flight.