Download Al-Mutanabbi: Voice of the ‘Abbasid Poetic Ideal by Margaret Larkin PDF

By Margaret Larkin

This exhaustive and but mesmerizing learn considers the lifestyles and paintings of al-Mutanabbi (915-965), usually considered as the best of the classical Arab poets. A innovative at center and sometimes imprisoned or pressured into exile all through his tumultuous lifestyles, al-Mutanabbi wrote either arguable satires and whilst hired by way of considered one of his many consumers, laudatory panegyrics. utilising an ornate kind and use of the ode, al-Mutanabbi used to be one of many first to effectively movement clear of the usually inflexible kind of Arabic verse, the 'qasida'.

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Example text

The information available makes it difficult to determine what precise combination of religious rebellion, political ambition, and plain old greed was at the heart of al-Mutanabbi’s ill-fated activities, but it is clear that at least the latter two remained stable features of his personality. And he never ceased his attachment to the grandiose image of himself as a great hero, reflected in some of the verses cited above. What religious or philosophical basis he actually offered for this behavior remains unclear.

The poet was not yet an intimate of Sayf al-Dawlah; he had not yet accompanied him in battle and did not have details of any military campaigns to focus on in his poem. Still, this effort at creating some variation is far more dynamic than Blachère’s description suggests. , 379). , 379). Most importantly, the Byzantine king is pictured submissively bowing down to kiss the ground before the Arab prince. One of the effects of this little ekphrastic excursion is to draw attention to the very act of representing and particularly to al-Mutanabbi’s cleverness at it.

245) DEATH OF THE POET’S GRANDMOTHER Badr’s departure for Baghdad meant al-Mutanabbi was able to return to the cities of Syria, where once again he composed poetry for diverse notables of modest rank. Probably at the beginning of 941, around the time he became associated with a young judge, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Khasibi, al-Mutanabbi received news of the death of his beloved grandmother. In the poem he composed on this occasion, al-Mutanabbi re-shapes the traditional poetic mode of elegy and makes it a dynamic space in which the poet’s sense of his own greatness becomes the vehicle for his recovery from grief.

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