Abu Nuwas: A Genius of Poetry (Makers of the Muslim World) by Philip Kennedy

By Philip Kennedy

Abu Nuwas (c. 756-813) used to be one of many maximum Arab poets of the classical interval. In literary historical past, he's remembered mainly because the hard-drinking and eloquent composer of dissolute wine poems, from which he emerges as probably the most charismatic figures in global literature. but, he was once in truth an all-round poet and exerted a profound impression on Abbasid poetry extra in general; he's considered one of a handful of people who might be deemed to face on the very center of Arabic literary tradition. Abu Nuwas provides the interesting lifestyles tale of this mythical determine along available translations of a few of his most crucial poems. With commentaries, a word list and a consultant to extra studying, this e-book is the precise creation to a real genius of Arabic literature.

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Her house is said to have been a meeting place for singing girls. ”). She outlived her son and Abu Nuwas’s paltry estate came into her possession upon his death. It is said he bequeathed her as little as 200 dinars – astonishingly little given his eminence as a poet and the rewards that were probably heaped upon him, sporadically, during his lifetime. Unlike his mother, Abu Nuwas both mastered and crafted the Arabic language as well as any poet ever has and it provided him with a living, but he was also recklessly generous and a hedonist to boot – he suffered materially from the very same impulse that enriched his poetry.

Yet Arabic poetry has its own largely unique norms and conventions: of form, meter, subject and the distinct collocation of themes. It can, of course, only be judged fully on these terms. ) are largely trapped in the enhanced Arabic of the original poetry; but one can endeavor to translate and discuss the essential spirit of the themes. It is hoped that the latter will begin to emerge, according to distinctive genres and relating to the strong literary persona of Abu Nuwas, in the course of this introductory work.

The khamriyya which Abu Nuwas mastered and perfected as a genre in the Abbasid capital allows one to situate the man best of all as a poet, absorbing and transforming a whole tradition, and as a person more generally who, in some minimal measure at the very least, was also reacting to his environment. The “Modern” Poet In reviewing the wine song we must note: (i) its literary genealogy, of which Abu Nuwas was so clearly conscious (and respectful of, on the whole): he clearly saw himself as the inheritor of a pre-Islamic tradition, and in particular of the poetry of al-A‘sha (d.

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