Sperl's study questions whether mannerism and classicism can be applied to the analysis of Arabic poetry. While mannerism in Arabic literature has traditionally been associated with an excessive use of rhetorical devices and illustrated with reference to poetic fragments and extracts, Sperl approaches the question through a structuralist examination of poems as a whole. The texts selected range from the 9th to the 11th centuries AD and are drawn from the works of Abu l-Atahiya, Buhturi, Mihyar al-Daylami and Maarri. The poems which are studied in detail in successive chapters exhibit profound stylistic differences in sound, imagery, and composition. In the light of structuralist analysis, these differences do indeed appear to conform to a characteristic classicist/mannerist continuum also observed in other literatures. The structuralist approach moreover leads to a broader reevaluation of these terms in the final chapter.
Since the late 1940s, Arabic poetry has spoken for an Arab conscience, as much as it has debated positions and ideologies, nationally and worldwide. This book tackles issues of modernity and tradition in Arabic poetry as manifested in poetic texts and criticism by poets as participants in transformation and change. It studies the poetic in its complexity, relating to issues of selfhood, individuality, community, religion, ideology, nation, class and gender. Al-Musawi also explores in context issues that have been cursorily noticed or neglected, like Shi’i poetics, Sufism, women’s poetry, and expressions of exilic consciousness. Arabic Poetry employs current literary theory and provides comprehensive coverage of modern and post-modern poetry from the 1950s onwards, making it essential reading for those with interests in Arabic culture and literature and Middle East studies.
Originally published in 1965, this is an introductory book for university students of Arabic literature. It begins with a substantial introduction in English by Professor Arberry on the development, nature, forms and rhythms of Arabic poetry. The main body of the book is an anthology of Arabic poems in the original, from the sixth century onwards, giving examples of the work of some thirty of the greatest Arab poets. Each poem has a literal English translation on the facing page; the notes, on points of language and style, are placed at the foot across the whole opening. Biographical notes on the poets are placed at the end of the book.
This work deals with "wasf" or description which is one of the salient characteristics of the "qasidah" (classical Arabic poetry) tradition. It examines descriptive passages in a selected group of Arabic "qasidah" from different ages, with the motifs of horses, and bees and honey-gathering.
In Old Arabic poetry from the pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods to the end of the orthodox Caliphate, one theme is the lightning-scene. In this the protagonist asserts that he could not sleep because he saw lightning flashing far away in the sky. The book explores the various functions of this scene, and its relationship with other parts of the poem. This study achieves two main goals. The first sheds light on two important terms connected with Old Arabic poetry: the function and the narration. We see how a certain element can function differently from text to text, and how these different functions influence the narration of a poem and consequently make it - to some degree - idiosyncrat...