A Critical Introduction to Modern Arabic Poetry by M. M. Badawi

By M. M. Badawi

This publication is the 1st severe survey of the advance and achievements of ‘modern’ Arabic poetry, the following signifying the interval from the latter 1/2 the 19th century to the current day. It levels over the total Arabic-speaking international and contains a dialogue of the paintings of poets who emigrated to the U.S. and Latin the United States. 4 major phases are tested within the improvement of a in particular sleek Arabic poetry: the ‘neoclassical’, within which poets grew to become to their literary historical past for his or her beliefs and concept; the pre-romantic’, which used to be marked through a pressure among a converted classical sort and new romantic sentiments, itself the mirrored image of a much broader cultural stream in the direction of switch and modernization; the ‘romantic’, during which the tensions among shape and content material have been resolved, and a lyricism and straightforwardness of language turn into the norm; and the ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ that's typified via a response opposed to romanticism, and ruled by way of both devoted social realism or symbolism and surrealism. within the absence of any related released paintings in a ecu language, the booklet, in addition to being designed for college kids of Arabic literature and of comparative literature, can also be of curiosity to the final reader. No wisdom of Arabic is presupposed: the entire verse (newly translated through the writer) is given in English translation, and technical terminology has been decreased to a minimal.

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Clearly, as we have just seen, he did not believe that poetry was simply rhyming metrical speech. Besides passion Catifah) poetry should also have what he called 'wisdom' (hikmah). Like Barudi, Shauqi believed in the moral function of poetry. 39 In a poem addressed to the workers (i,95) he urges them to work hard and emulate the example of ancient Egyptian craftsmen, to possess civic virtues and generally lead a virtuous life. Shauqi's didacticism is in fact a very pronounced element in his work: in a poem on the Bee Kingdom (i, 171) he looks for the relevant moral lesson which we can learn from nature.

As these poets are described here as neoclassical it might be useful at this stage to pause briefly and try to explain in some detail what we mean by this term. Before we proceed any further, however, a word of warning is necessary. In our attempt to describe the development of modem Arabic poetry, particularly in its earliest phases, we have to be very much on our guard when using European critical terminology. For all their vagueness, when used to describe western literary phenomena, terms like 'neoclassicism' or 'romanticism' still denote, in a general way, a cluster of meanings.

He returned towards the end of 1919. During his exile he developed his interest in Spanish Arabic poets, especially Ibn Zaidun, wrote poems commemorating the glories of the past Arab civilization of Spain and describing its remains, and like his predecessor Barudi expressed his deep nostalgia for Egypt in a more subjective and meditative type of poetryOnce the war was over Shauqi returned to Egypt, but not to resume his office in the court. Being by now a man of independent means, he devoted his time to his literary activities and to giving expression to the mood of the NEOCLASSICISM 30 people with whom he came into closer contact than he had done before in his life.

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