More often, however, spending money on wine represented a heroic thumbing of his nose at fate, a dramatization of muruwwah , the tribal code of manliness. Abu Nuwas, having studied the ancient poets with the top scholars of his day, would surely have known such ancient poems.
ABU NUWAS: Selected Poems Translation & Introduction by Paul Smith Abu Nuwas () was the most famous and infamous poet who composed in. The Diwan of Abu NuwasTHE LITRARY WORK The collected poems of Abu Nuwas set in Iraq in the late eighth century c.e.; first compiled in Arabic (as Diwan .
His wine poems digested and synthesized poems on wine by many poets who lived before him. To take one major example, Abu Nuwas reproduced the antithesis between wine and Islamic values articulated by Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi, a poet who lived before but also after the emergence of Islam died in the mid-seventh century.
Typically, new non-Arab converts to Islam became clients of Arab tribes.
These Arab tribes were divided into two main branches, northern and southern. Already by the late seventh century, enmity had developed between the northern and southern tribes, then ensconced in garrison cities across the Near East. Abu Nuwas took great pride in his southern Arab lineage and perhaps also in his mixed heritage. He would place lines or fragments from famous or not-so-famous poems in a context that gave them a completely new, and often offensive, meaning.
Such quotations were often placed in the mouths of singing girls or serving boys at the end of a poem. Abu Nuwas made frequent and sophisticated allusions to verses of the Quran and he showed more than a passing familiarity with the theological currents of his day. Occasionally he would give a verse of the Quran a shocking and scatalogical twist. The overall effect, however, of weaving Quranic language into his wine poems was the enhancement of their quasi-religious character. From the Umayyad caliph al-Walid ibn Yazid d. The poet Abu al-Hindi d. Other poets of his time may have influenced his work in different ways.
If Abu Nuwas inserted shuubi elements in his wine poems, they merely added another hue to a broader picture of contrariness rather than making a discrete statement of political affiliation. A number of his poems poke fun at the desert Arabs the Bedouin , whom cosmopolitan Arabs viewed as the fathers of culture and civilization. Shuubis portrayed them as rude denizens of hair tents and as lizard-eaters.
New poetry emphasized rhetorical embellishment and metaphorical sophistication. Elite audiences, tutored by literary scholars, came to appreciate and even demand poems that used a wide variety of rhetorical figures, many of them rooted in the similarities between Arabic words, rare vocabulary, and striking metaphors.
Like many of the best medieval Arab poets, Abu Nuwas divided his attention between innovative poetic pursuits, like wine poetry and mujun , and more conservative poetry, like panegyric, elegiac, and hunting poems, that relied upon convention. In addition to his fame as the poet of wine, Abu Nuwas garnered praise for his poems on hunting.
These are full of the obscure vocabulary dear to connoisseurs of ancient Arabic poetry. An example follows. Although the essayist al-Jahiz quoted a substantially identical descriptive poem on a cheetah by the poet al-Raqashi d. An anecdote about his sojourn in Egypt illustrates the problems connected to the collection of his poetry. According to this story, Abu Nuwas, dead drunk, extemporized a sublime wine poem, passed water, and passed out in the resulting puddle. The next morning he did not remember it. Only the diligent notetaking of a bystander saved the poem.
An unknown quantity of the poetry attributed to him may, in fact, have been composed by other poets, among them, Husayn ibn al-Dahhak, a poet who, like Abu Nuwas, sang of wine and homoeroticism in the court of the caliph al-Amin.
Language: English. US Newsletter. While some poets were early converts, poetry about or in praise of Islam took some time to develop. Proudly powered by WordPress. I brought out Colt—a stallion of brute power and pedigree.
Decades after his death, the poetry of Abu Nuwas was collected in three versions: that of al-Suli d. Much later, the lexicographer Ibn Manzur d. Abu Nuwas appeared as a character in other literary works as well.
In the eleventh century, for example, an Arab poet of Spain, Abu Amir ibn Shuhayd, wrote of a fictitious journey in which he visited some of the great Arab poets in the afterworld. He thought to look up Abu Nuwas and he found him in the midst of a bender.
Abu Nuwas probably died of an illness in Baghdad, leaving behind very little money for his aged mother, but his impact on succeeding generations has been enormous. There poems inspired by Abu Nuwas, recited or sung by beardless youths, could bring individual mystics to heights of spiritual ecstasy for which drunkenness and sexual abandon served as profound metaphors. The poet Ibn al-Hajjaj, who lived a century after Abu Nuwas, made his reputation by writing salacious poetry in the mold of Abu Nuwas. Wine poetry, in both secular and mystical garb, enriched Persian poetry.
These earliest examples of European lyric poetry often evoke wine, quote lines from the mouths of singing girls, and evince the descent into depravity characteristic of many poems by Abu Nuwas. Abu Mihjan al-Thaqafi. Ludwig Abel. Batavia: E. Brill, Abu Nuwas, Diwan Abi Nuwas. Ewald Wagner and Gregor Schoeler. Weisbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, Goldziher, Ignaz.
Muslim Studies. Hamori, Andras. On the Art of Medieval Arabic Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, Tabaqat al-shuara.
Abd al-Sattar Ahmad Faraj. Kennedy, Philip. Ronald L. Oxford: Clarendon, Mattock, John.
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Share on StumbleUpon. By Sophia Smith Galer 14 November The Soul Trembles.
Op Art in Focus. He also wrote under various poetic themes, such as praising kings, the beauty of woman, pride, and passion. Mostly of his work was dedicated to wine, as he aimed to rebel against traditional poetic themes. Before his death, many researchers confirmed that he repented to God and composed religious spiritual poetry. It was not until after his death that his poems were collected into one volume.
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