Al-Mutanabbi

Pages: 160
Subject: Religion: Islam
Series: Makers of the Muslim World
Imprint: Oneworld Academic

Al-Mutanabbi

Margaret Larkin

This exhaustive and enthralling study considers the life and work of al-Mutanabbi (915-965), often regarded as the greatest of the classical Arab poets.
Hardback
9781851684069 (12 Dec 2007)
RRP £25.00 / US$30.00

The Book

This exhaustive and yet enthralling study considers the life and work of al-Mutanabbi (915-965), often regarded as the greatest of the classical Arab poets. A revolutionary at heart and often imprisoned or forced into exile throughout his tumultuous life, al-Mutanabbi wrote both controversial satires and when employed by one of his many patrons, laudatory panegyrics. Employing an ornate style and use of the ode, al-Mutanabbi was one of the first to successfully move away from the traditionally rigid form of Arabic verse, the ‘qasida'.

 

CONTENTS


Preface

 

1 OUT OF ARABIA

Arabian origins

Poetic forms - the ode

Invective and elegy

Poets on the fringe

Islam's effect on poetry

Centralization under the Umayyads

Diversity under the ‘Abbasids

Conservatism in poetic taste

Late ‘Abbasid disintegration

 

2 GROWING PAINS

Origins and early formation

Al-Mutanabbi goes to Baghdad

Early career in Syria

Rebellion and its aftermath

After the fall

At Kharshani's court

Death of the poet's grandmother

The Ikhshidid connection

Eye on the Hamdanid prize

 

3 GLORY DAYS IN ALEPPO

The Hamdanids of Aleppo

Al-Mutanabbi's first ode to Sayf al-Dawlah

Occasional poems for the would-be patron

Death of Sayf al-Dawlah's mother

Elegy on Abu'l-Hayja'

The poet-patron relationship

Demands on the poet

Epic occasions

Trouble in paradise

Al-Mutanabbi bites back

All good things ...

 

4 PARADISE LOST

From Aleppo to Egypt

Reluctant praise

Al-Mutanabbi demands his due

Saving face at Aleppo

Kafur's final refusal

Angry satire

Out of Egypt

Home again

Sayf al-Dawlah in the wings

The poet in Persia

The Gap of Bavvan

To the hunt

Final call

 

5 CONTEMPORARY CRITICS

After the fall

Linguistic correctness

Diction and lexical choice

Construction of the poem

Philosophizing in poetry

The limits of imagination

Borrowing versus plagiarism

Summing up

 

6 THE HIGHEST FORM OF PRAISE

Andalusian admirer

Kindred spirits

The classical as innovation

Neoclassical voice

Modern echoes

 

Conclusion

Suggestions for further reading

Index

Additional Information

Subject Religion: Islam
Series Makers of the Muslim World
Pages 160
Imprint Oneworld Academic

 

About the Author

Margaret Larkin is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Berkeley University. Author of The Theology of Meaning: 'Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani's Theory of Discourse, she has also written numerous scholarly articles on both classical and modern Arabic literature.