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A bilingual anthology of classic and modern Arabic poems from the sixth century to the present explores a wide range of countries and themes while focusing on pieces that reflect desire, featuring examples by such poets as pre-Islamic warrior 'Antara Ibn Shaddad, medieval Andalusian Ibn Zaydun and influential Egyptian Romantic Ahmad Zaki Abu Shadi.
In Islam the fascination for "the word" is as vigorous as in Judaism and in Christianity, but an extra dimension is, that the revealed text, the Koran, is considered to be verbatim the word of the Almighty Himself, thereby providing the Arabic language with just an extra quality. No wonder that throughout Islamic history the study of the word, the Koran, the prophet's utterances and the interpretation of both, has become the main axis of knowledge and education. As a consequence the intellectuals - and also the poets in Islamic culture - were thoroughly familiar with religious terms and the phraseology of a language which was highly estimated because of the divine origin with which it was associated. No wonder therefore, that allusions to religious texts can be found throughout Arabic literature, both classical and modern. The subject of this volume is the representation of the divine in Arabic poetry, be it the experience of the divine as expressed by poets or the use of imagery coined by religion.
A critical survey of the development and achievements of Arabic poetry over the last 150 years.
First published in 1985. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Abundance from the Desert provides a comprehensive introduction to classical Arabic poetry, one of the richest of poetic traditions. Covering the period roughly of 500â€"1250 c.e., it features original translations and illuminating discussions of a number of major classical Arabic poems from a variety of genres. The poems are presented chronologically, each situated within a specific historical and literary context. Together, the selected poems suggest the range and depth of classical Arabic poetic expression; read in sequence, they suggest the gradual evolution of a tradition. Moving beyond a mere chronicle, Farrin outlines a new approach to appreciating classical Arabic poetry based on an awareness of concentric symmetry, in which the poem’s unity is viewed not as a linear progression but as an elaborate symmetrical plot. In doing so, the author presents these works in a broader, comparative light, revealing connections with other literatures. The reader is invited to examine these classical Arabic works not as isolated phenomena—notwithstanding their uniqueness and their association with a discrete tradition—but rather as part of a great multicultural heritage. This pioneering book marks an important step forward in the study of Arabic poetry. At the same time, it opens the door to this rich tradition for the general reader.

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