A Critical Introduction to Modern Arabic Poetry by M. M. Badawi

By M. M. Badawi

This ebook is the 1st severe survey of the improvement and achievements of 'modern' Arabic poetry, the following signifying the interval from the latter 1/2 the 19th century to the current day. It levels over the whole Arabic-speaking international and incorporates a dialogue of the paintings of poets who emigrated to the USA and Latin the USA. 4 major levels are tested within the improvement of a particularly glossy Arabic poetry: the 'neoclassical', during which poets grew to become to their literary historical past for his or her beliefs and suggestion; the pre-romantic', which was once marked via a stress among a changed classical sort and new romantic sentiments, itself the mirrored image of a much broader cultural stream in the direction of swap and modernization; the 'romantic', within which the tensions among shape and content material have been resolved, and a lyricism and straightforwardness of language develop into the norm; and the 'modern' or 'contemporary' that is typified by way of a response opposed to romanticism, and ruled via both dedicated social realism or symbolism and surrealism. within the absence of any comparable released paintings in a eu language, the e-book, in addition to being designed for college students of Arabic literature and of comparative literature, can also be of curiosity to the final reader. No wisdom of Arabic is presupposed: all of the verse (newly translated via the writer) is given in English translation, and technical terminology has been lowered to a minimal.

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It it should go up it would be amidst the soft green, and should it fall down it would drink of the brooks or pick up food with its beak. O Bird, you have driven away the vision of my beloved which granted me joy when it visited me at night, Wliite of complexion she is, with the eyes of a gazelle and fair as the moon when it shines bright. Now that her image has departed from me, I am stricken with longing, grief and sleeplessness. Would that slumber return to me that I might in her absence satisfy my longing with her image!

The theme of ars longa vita brevis is conspicuous in the preface: he quotes the famous lines by an ancient Arab poet: Poetry is difficult and its uphill path is long. Whoever tries to ascend it, not being familiar with it, Will stumble and fall into the abyss. Because of his keen awareness of the difficulty of the metier Barudi admits that at one point he decided to give up writing verse. But, he says, like the Umayyad poet 'Umar ibn Abi Rabi'a, he failed to carry out his resolution because he could not 'go against his own nature'.

Shauqi's heart was not in the panegyrical type of poem which he wrote to the Khedives, Taufiq, Abbas, Husain and Fuad. Significantly enough he felt panegyric to be at least an outmoded subject, if not beneath the poet's dignity, and he wished modern Arabic poetry to be SHAUQI 35 rid of it altogether. In the introduction to the first edition of his Shauqiyyat (1898) he wrote that 'poetry is too noble to be brought down to the level of a profession that relies upon panegyric and nothing else'. Shauqi, however, was too weak a man to resist the temptation of worldly glory.

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