Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Arabic poetry

It has been extremely difficult to stay abreast of political developments or some of the rubbish being written by Middle Eastern experts. Studying law in such an intense and short period is taking up a lot of my energies. I will try to keep things going regularly and I apologise for being a bit silent here, in the meantime enjoy the classical Arabic poetry that I've been discovering. I had no idea, but the 10 معلقات (mualakat) were called so because they were hung from the Ka'aba before the arrival of Islam. The language used is mesmerising, but the poems themselves also hark back to an Arab culture that was deeply chivalrous and which still is in many ways, if you look hard enough. Reading these poems is like reclaiming something that is a part of my heritage. The other set of poems I am enjoying is Abu al Tayib al Mutanabi. The way he conveys ideas and sentiments is simply breathtaking at times (I downloaded sound clips from the internet with professional readers who sound fantastic) and there are so many verses that now come to mind for many occasions. If you can read Arabic, go memorise at least one poem now, you do so only for your own benefit and it is worth it. Great stuff.

Read more about the Mu'allaqat here (it seems a bit shaky here, I have read that there were ten, but the entry states there were only seven. Somebody please let me know).

For more about al Mutanabi, click here.

I have some excellent Arabic articles on these two subjects, but obviously I have very little time to translate and post. Perhaps later.


Yazan said...

At school we learn that they are seven, with others falsely attributed to them like al-Nabigha al-Thubiyani's.

مترجم سوري said...

"I downloaded sound clips from the internet with professional readers who sound fantastic"

any link to share us please?
or might be kind enough to email them.


Anonymous said...

That's great! Looking forward to reading more about classical Arabic poetry on your blog.
"Go memorise at least one poem now"
Excellent conseil : )

Just found this website

Our interest in poetry should not be a reason though for leaving "political developments" to some disgracefully unpoetic Middle-East experts!

Lasto adri *Blue* said...

Sadly, they ruined everybody's taste by not teaching proper Arabic poetry in Egypt.

They first started by removing all romance - because its "3eeb", then all poems that is using difficult fos7a - because its too hard..
At the end they kept rubbish to teach; so cold poems that do not represent either modern or old quality Arabic poetry..

BTW, I second Omniya, a link will be appreciated!

Hoss a Boss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoss a Boss said...

The mu'allaqaat really are an interesting subject, possibly because we know so little about their origins, authenticity, and authorship - much of the information recorded about, compiled long after the rise of the Islamic state, could have been subject to interpolations and even forgeries. They are still, as you said, absolutely mesmerizing, and hearing them aloud provides another level altogether of amazement.

If you like, have a look at my blog ( hailofarrows.blogspot.com ) where I have put up info about classical Arabic poetry - I haven't written anything yet about the mu'allaqaat but will someday soon. The poets covered are Andalucian, Abbasid, Umayyad, and Jahili. I will return to read more here!