By Margaret Larkin
This exhaustive and but mesmerizing research considers the existence and paintings of al-Mutanabbi (915-965), usually considered as the best of the classical Arab poets. A innovative at middle and infrequently imprisoned or pressured into exile all through his tumultuous existence, al-Mutanabbi wrote either debatable satires and whilst hired by way of one in all his many consumers, laudatory panegyrics. utilising an ornate type and use of the ode, al-Mutanabbi used to be one of many first to effectively stream clear of the frequently inflexible type of Arabic verse, the 'qasida'.
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Extra resources for Al-Mutanabbi: Voice of the ‘Abbasid Poetic Ideal
The poet provides a miniature narrative, in which the scene of his grandmother jubilantly receiving a letter from him is vividly painted: She marvels at my handwriting and my words as if she is seeing in the lines of letters white-winged ravens And she kisses it until its ink has turned the area around her eyes and her teeth black. , 261) The immediacy of this scene is conveyed by the series of imperfect tense verbs it employs until it is abruptly ended by the intrusion of death, via the definitive perfect tense: Her tears stopped flowing and her eyelids dried and her love for me left her heart after having wounded it.
Despite this understandable caution, the poem provides not only clear previews of coming poetic attractions, but also some noteworthy manipulations of conventional poetic motifs. , 373). This obviously serves to exaggerate the pathos of the traditional opening: the poet is aggrieved not only by the loss of his beloved, but also by the disappointing behavior of his friends. He is doubly abandoned. More importantly, it emphasizes the existential aloneness of the poet, and the grief and sadness he experiences are emphatically represented as the experience of an individual rather than a group or implied community.
Though al-Mutanabbi was to find, in the Buyid prince ‘Adud al-Dawlah, the kind of deferent indulgence and generosity that he required, along with sincere admiration of his poetry, he remained discontented with this essentially Persian environment that lacked a deep-seated sense of identification with Arab culture and values. In truth, al-Mutanabbi was temperamentally suited to an earlier age – to an age that was not just Islamic, but also essentially Arab. The economic ramifications were also serious for poets.