Abu Nuwas. A Genius of Poetry by Philip Kennedy

By Philip Kennedy

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

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Extra resources for Abu Nuwas. A Genius of Poetry

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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 poems discussed in this book were all written in sustained monorhyme. They were of no fixed length, varying from fragments of two-to-five verses to poems of up to forty verses; each verse was divided into two hemistich halves (as I have tried to represent in the format of my translations). Each poem was written in one of a number of quantitative meters based on sustained patterns of long and short syllables.

The crucial point is the hair. Besides the term ghulam (pl. ghilman), which means literally ‘(older) boy’ but can also be applied to a male slave (of any age) and (euphemistically) to a eunuch, the word which appears most frequently in these contexts is amrad ( (pl. ” Only on one occasion did Abu Nuwas show that he was still attracted to, and tempted to seduce, an adolescent who had already acquired a beard. And he was fully aware that he had played the role of catamite to other men when in his youth, making light of the fact on one reported occasion.

The influence upon Abu Nuwas exerted by this light-spirited and nigh-delinquent poet should not be understated; there are many lasting traces of the impact he had upon the young poet, especially in his more iconoclastic mood. Waliba’s poetry is homoerotic, licentious, skilled and eloquent, yet light of diction, and it is particularly in his facetious treatment of the Devil as a topos that he clearly left his mark on Abu Nuwas, who made much of this theme in his later years as a Bacchic poet. According to one tradition the Devil (Ar.

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