This practice is a holdover from the pre-Islamic three-part qasîdah. There are two differences between this form and the nasîb of the three-part qasîdah. First, the introductory ghazal is highly stylised, and second, it enters straight into the main genre of the poem without being followed by a rahîl. This genre was perfected by jarîr (650-728 farazdaq (641-728/730 and al-Akhtal (640-710). The practice of beginning poems of other genres with a ghazal went in and out of vogue more than once, and at various times had its ardent supporters and equally ardent detractors. This was particularly the case during the early Abbasid period.13 It was within this genre that a certain literary art was perfected that is the art of husn al-takhallus (literally: beautiful extrication the art of modulating smoothly from one genre to another within a poem. During the pre-Islamic period, the nasîb could end rather abruptly into the rahîl, a practice which was frowned upon for the introductory ghazal of the Ummayad period.
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Poets writing in this genre usually devote all of their output, or at the resume very least a long sequence of poems, to a single love interest. 701) has real his Buthaynah. Abd al-Rahmân (660?-723?) has his azzah. Hizâm has his Afrah. Al-Humayr has his laylâ. Describing this genre of ghazal as the genre of courtly love is accurate insofar as the themes of these ghazals are nearly identical to those of the courtly love tradition of the european High Middle Ages. However, this genre was not exceptionally popular at the urban courts. It was rather a favourite of the desert regions of the hijaz and Najd. Representing the genre most popular with the Umayyad urban elite, the erotic ghazal is typified by graphic physical descriptions of the object of desire, often limb by limb. Abî rabîah (644- 712/719) is the most notable poet of erotic ghazals. This genre of ghazal, also referred to as traditional (taqlîdî) is specifically employed to act as a prologue or introduction to poems of other genres.
The middle and upper classes of the new and growing urban centres of the Arab world demanded entertainment, and at the forefront of this new entertainment industry were music and song. The popularity of the ghazal reached dizzying heights due to its suitability for musical diversions. The nature of the ghazal changed drastically to meet the demands of light musical entertainment. It generally became a briefer composition. Its choice of meter changed. Instead of the long, ponderous meters that had been favoured for the qasîdahs meters like kâmil, basît, and rajaz lighter meters like khafîf, ramal, and muqtarab online were preferred, along with abridged variants of the longer meters.10 Topically, instead of focusing on nostalgic reminisces of the. As the popularity of the ghazal grew, different schools of ghazal writing developed, which introduced into Arabic literature a rich variety of poetic sub-genres. The most important of these sub-genres were as follows:. This genre of poetry focuses on devotion towards a woman who was beyond approach and with whom love could never be consummated.12 poems written in this genre focus on the pain of longing and the passions of the heart and are nearly free of eroticism.
Even the term qasîdah started to become more or less synonymous with the more general notion of a formal poem. The ghazal was also separated out during plan this time, becoming a stand-alone poetic genre in its own right, and as such it enjoyed exceptional popularity and considerable patronage. The ghazal, along with the other Arabic poetic genres, inherited from its pre-Islamic origins the formal verse structure of the qasîdah. A poem in this form is always constructed from lines of a single meter, where each line (called a bayt in Arabic and a sher in Persian) is constructed from two metrical hemistiches and ends on the same rhyme (qâfiyah). The persians would later add certain other features to the ghazal, as we shall see, but the underlying form would remain the same. Though the ghazal during the Ummayad period was understood to be a poetic genre dealing with the theme of longing for the beloved, it also had to adhere strictly to the formal verse structure it inherited from the qasîdah. The marriage between with this particular verse form and the theme of longing would continue to be the defining character of the ghazal wherever it was adopted in the world. Even when formal innovations and variations were introduced into the ghazal by practitioners of the art in the contexts of different languages and cultures, the theme of longing whether it be romantic, erotic, mystical, or divine and this underlying form would always be there. As the ghazal came into its own during the Ummayad period, it grew into the most popular poetic genre of the time, and would remain so for centuries to come.
It had behind it a long, unrecorded history that can only be deduced through indirect means. Back to the top, the Flowering of the Arabian Ghazal. During the early Islamic era (622-661 there were no substantial changes in poetic practice. The pre-Islamic tradition continued more or less as it was, except that the writing of shorter poems became more popular, often for political and religious purposes. However, the ghazal was not given any particularly special attention among these shorter works.9. The ghazal came into its own as a poetic genre during the Ummayyad Era (661-750) and continued to flower and develop in the early Abbasid Era. Though three-part qasîdahs continued to be written, it was during Ummayyad times that the pre-Islamic qasîdah was broken up into its constituent parts. Lampoons, boasts, panegyric poems, and moralizing poems were now written on their own.
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These writing four rites in order were: mortification purgation invigoration and jubilation. The rite of mortification, in agrarian societies, symbolized the state of suspended animation at the end of the year when the annual lease on life had drawn to a close and the new one had not yet begun. The rite of purgation symbolized the agrarian communitys attempt to rid itself of all the physical and moral evil that might threaten the renewal of its vitality in the coming year. The rite of invigoration was the communitys attempt to procure a new lease on life. Finally, the rite of jubilation represented the sense of relief at the commencement of the new year and the continuation of the natural cycle.
Stetkevych argues that the nasîb, the rahîl, and the madîh originated in these four rites. Ibn Qutaybahs formulation is tripartite. It is quite possible, however, to see in the nasîb, which comprises a description of the abandoned encampment, the lost mistress, the complaint against old age, etc., an expression of mortification, suspended animation; in the rahîl which comprises the recounting of the hardships of the. This current research into the origins of the nasîb and by extension the ghazal is certainly intriguing. There can be no doubt that the fully-formed pre-Islamic qasîdah that we see at the dawn of Arabic written literature did not suddenly appear out of nowhere.
They pine for it in youth, take pleasure in it during maturity, and lament its loss in old age. Love is a glimmer of light at times of despair, a wave of strength in times of weakness, and a trusty weapon against severity and hardship. Why would the pre-Islamic poets not exploit this emotion as a foil against the harsh and austere realities of their way of life, where the threat of death was always present? Love served to represent what was good in life. Love culminating in union represented happiness and prosperity. Separation and tears represented bittersweet pain and sweet sorrow.
Essentially, for a people whose lifestyle was one of violence, hardship, and material want, the various manifestations of love were the most precious and valued possibilities of worldly delight. Recent scholarship attempts to trace the nasîb further back in time, back to its origins in prehistory. Scholars like suzanne pinckney stetkevych and Jaroslav stetkevych do not accept the idea that the pre-Islamic nasîb was merely a rhetorical prelude or a concrete representation of Bedouin life. Jaroslav stetkevych, by analysing the recurrent motifs in the nasîb, identifies its origin in Ancient near Eastern ritual, myth, and poetry.6. Suzanne pinckney stetkevych argues that the three parts of the classical Arabic qasîdah owe their origins to the poetics of ritual of the Ancient near East, formulated on a seasonal pattern. She writes on the panegyric qasîdah:7 (W)e are dealing with a bedouin variant of the Ancient Middle eastern agrarian pattern in which the harvest is not the seasonally determined one of grain, but the metaphorical harvest of human lives on the battle field. In this, she follows the model presented by Theodor Gaster, who describes the structure of Ancient near Eastern seasonal ritual as having been comprised of two rites of Emptying followed by two rites of Filling.
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He replied: How can i ever have writers block when I possess the keys to unlock my poetry? He was told: Well, dates those are what we are asking you about. He said: They are: solitude, and thinking about my loved ones. Ibn Rashîq then comments:4This is on account of his longing. Indeed, when a poet begins his qasîdah with the nasîb, he has placed his foot in the stirrup. The modern scholar, hayât Jâsim, regards the nasîb as having fulfilled an important psychological need both for the poet and the audience within the context of Bedouin life. She writes:5love, being as it is an emotion of beauty, is intrinsically tied to the hopes of all people.
He does not prolong anything too much so as to bore the audience, nor does he abbreviate anything so much as to leave the people wanting to hear more. Though Ibn Qutaybah gives the panegyric poem as his example for the qasîdahs final section, it does not have to be in that genre. The qasîdah could be in any of the other recognized poetic genres, like boasting (fakhr) a thesis lampoon (hijâ) or a didactic composition (hikam). Ibn Qutaybah is credited with being the first literary thinker to attempt to explain the purpose behind beginning the qasîdah with the nasîb.2 His opinion was that the nasîb was essentially a means for the poet to win over the attention of his audience. This would remain the predominant view on the matter throughout the middle Ages. An alternate view suggested by Ibn Rashîq al-qayrawânî (d 1064?) is that the amorous introduction was a means of bringing the poet into the proper poetic mindset. He draws this conclusion from the following personal account of the Ummayad era poet Dhû al-Rummah (696-735 which he relates as follows:3. Dhû al-Rummah was asked: What do you do as a poet when you have writers block?
would bring this to the nasîb, where he would lament the severity of his passion, the pain of separation, his longing, and his ardent love for his beloved. The purpose of this was to draw the hearts and attentions of his listeners to him, to prepare them to listen to him attentively. This is because rhapsodising about women is something close to the hearts and affections of men, since god has placed in the natural makeup of His male servants a love of dalliance (ghazal) and the society of women. Rarely is a man free from some manner of attachment and some real involvement whether it be lawful or sinful. When the poet is satisfied that he has his audience listening attentively, he follows this advantage and asserts his rights upon the listener, and thereby brings the rahîl where he laments the fatigue of travel, the passing of sleepless nights, the oppressiveness of the midday. Once he is sure he has justified to his listener his hope (of recompense he starts with the praises (madîh encouraging his listeners generosity and patronage, asserting the superiority of his grace over that of his peers, and how incomparable it still is to his. A praiseworthy poet is one who employs this style, giving equal weight to each of the sections, not allowing any section of the poem to dominate over the others.
There were various genres for the qasîdah, including the panegyric (madîh the moralizing poem (hikam the lampoon (hijâ and the boast reviews (fakhr). However, the ghazal the love poem was not one of these. Instead, what was later to become the ghazal was an integral part of nearly every pre-Islamic grand qasîdah. These qasîdahs were divided into three broad sections: the nasîb, the rahîl, and then whichever of the recognized poetic genres the poet intended. It is the nasîb, that opened the qasîdah, which would later develop into the ghazal. 889) explains, rather nostalgically, the way in which the old odes were constructed:1. I have heard some literary personalities mention that the qasîdah would have to begin with mention of the homeland, ones abode, and what has passed.
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David Jalajel 2007, by david Jalajel, ever since the ghazal was introduced into English poetry, there has been confusion as to what constitutes a ghazal and which poems have a right to be identified as ghazals in statement English. By tracing the history and development of the ghazal over the more than a millennia and a half that it has been in existence, this article seeks to put recent efforts into perspective. It is hoped that a better understanding of the diverse and changing nature of ghazal writing in the past will help us to envision how the rich variety of contemporary works being written in English today fit into the broader context of ghazal writing. This article traces the evolution of the ghazal. Starting with the ghazals origins in the pre-Islamic Arabian qasîdah, it follows the ghazals development in Medieval Arabia and Persia, and its adoption into the literatures of other languages and cultures. In pre-Islamic Arabia, the ghazal was not recognized as a major genre of poetry. This was the era of the golden odes the great Arabic qasîdahs.