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Vicareous WrightDr. SurreyARB-421-GW116 January 2018Literature in the Arab WorldOf all the different areas of Arabic literature, the one that I find the most interesting is Arabic poetry. Arabic poetry consists of both classical poetry (pre-renaissance or al-Nahdah) and modern poetry. Classical poetry dates back to the 6th century, though believed to be predated by oral poetry. Arabic poetry consists of two primary types, the first type of poetry is rhythmical poetry, which according to Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi, consists of 15 types of bahr, or meter – however, a student of his later added a 16th meter. The second form of Arabic poetry is prose, which is language spoken without any form of metrical structure. In addition to being my personal favorite, Arabic poetry is also the earliest form of Arab literature and consists of multiple genres including romantic poetry and satirical poetry.            Most of the poetry that originated in the pre-Islamic era was unfortunately not preserved, however what remains is well regarded as the most eloquent Arab poetry to date. In addition to its artistic value, it also serves as an important source for classical Arabic as far as grammar and vocabulary and it also serves as a trustworthy historical record for Arab life at that time. Popular forms of poetry from this era include qit’ah, which praised the tribe, and hija’, or satirical Arabic poetry.                       The arud, or prosody of rhymed Arabic poetry is well defined within the Arab world. In rhythmical poetry, as mentioned before, the meters are known as “seas” or ????. These are measured by something known as “taf’ilah” or ??????. Within each ???, or verse, there is a certain number of these taf’ilahs. The addition or subtraction of a single consonant or vowel can completely move the verse from one meter to another one. It is also worth noting that in rhythmical poetry, each verse must end with the same rhyme.             Two of the most common genres of Arabic poetry are ?????, or love poem, and ??????, or lampoon poem. From my research, I have concluded that the gazal poems have the recurring theme of unconditional love. These poems are typically written from the perspective of a lover whose beloved is out of reach or unattainable. This genre of poetry typically tends to be full of extended metaphors. Over the course of the last millennia, collections of gazal poetry has been created by many poets of different countries, such as Turkey and Iran. It is common for both classical and modern gazals to be rendered vocally and performed. Notable gazal poets include, Hafez (b. 1315 – 1390), Faiz Ahmad Faiz (b. 1911 – 1984), and Parveen Shakir (b. 1952 – 1994).             The hija, or lampoon, poem is typically written when the poet desires to express his discontent or disgust of someone else. It is usually meant to be funny but it serves as a much greater social construction for critiques, using wit as a weapon. There are different kinds of hija, including individual hija, collective or group hija, and moral or ethical hijas. Individual hijas are directed towards and individual that the poet strongly dislikes and thus attempts to show his shortcomings and cause him to be disparaged. Collective hijas are directed towards a group of people, such as a tribe or society, and the poet attempts to show their shortcomings. The moral or ethical hija deals with physical flaws and distinctive disabilities such as being of strange posture, large noses, or other notable physical features.            In order to provide an even clearer image of Arabic poetry structure, I will translate and analyze a small excerpt of a poem from one of my favorite Arab poets: Nizar Qabbani.This poem is called “?? ??? ?? ???”. ??? ??? ?? , ??? 1 : “What is between love and love” or “What is between two lovers”This first line of the poem sets the mood perfectly, from this line alone I get the idea that the speaker is experience deep feelings of love.???? ??? 2 : I love youThis second line confirms what I concluded in the first line.??? ??? ????? ?????? 3 : And what is there between one who has promised me?????? ??? ???? 4 : And one who will comeI interpreted the last two lines as the speaker questioning his past and future lovers.???? ??? ??? ?????  5 : I search for you here and thereThe speaker is showing strong feelings of yearning for his lover.??? ?????? ?????? 6  : As if the only time????? ??? 7 : Is your time??? ???? ?????? 8  : As if all of the promises??? ?????? ??? 9 : Pour into your eyesLines 6 – 9, from my perspective, portray that the only thing the speaker is able to think about is this woman that he is searching for.???? ???? ??? ?????? 10 : So how can I explain these feelings???? ??????? ???? ???? 11 : Which afflict me day and nightThe last two lines of this excerpt demonstrate that the speaker finds himself unable to come to terms with the flood of emotions that he is feeling for the lover that he is looking for.             In conclusion, Arabic poetry has been around for many centuries and is a central pillar to the study of Arab literature. Gazal and Hija poems are the most popular forms of Arabic poetry, with the Hija having been commonly used in the pre-Islamic era to disparage opposing tribes. Typical rhythmical poetry consists of sixteen meters and each verse always rhymes. Arabic poetry has been and will probably always be an important aspect of Arab culture.        Works Cited”Arabic poetry.” Al-Bab.com, al-bab.com/literature-section/arabic-poetry.”Ghazal.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Jan. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghazal#Pronunciation.”Arabic poetry.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Oct. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_poetry#Pre-Islamic_poetry.

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