Since the late 1940s, Arabic poetry has spoken for an Arab conscience, as much as it has debated positions and ideologies, nationally and worldwide. This book tackles issues of modernity and tradition in Arabic poetry as manifested in poetic texts and criticism by poets as participants in transformation and change. It studies the poetic in its complexity, relating to issues of selfhood, individuality, community, religion, ideology, nation, class and gender.
Al-Musawi also explores in context issues that have been cursorily noticed or neglected, like Shi’i poetics, Sufism, women’s poetry, and expressions of exilic consciousness.
Arabic Poetry employs current literary theory and provides comprehensive coverage of modern and post-modern poetry from the 1950s onwards, making it essential reading for those with interests in Arabic culture and literature and Middle East studies.
Table of Contents
1. The Tradition/Modernity Nexus in Arabic Poetics 2. Debating Hegemonic Poetics 3. Poetic Strategies for Conformity and Dissent: Past/Present Thresholds 4. Poetic Dialogization: Ancestors in the Text-Figures and Figurations 5. Dedications as Poetic Intersections: Precursors and Contemporaries 6. Envisioning Exile: Past Anchors and Problematic Encounters 7. The Edge of Recognition and Rejection: Why T.S. Eliot? 8. Conclusion: Re-inscribing Tradition
Muhsin J. al-Musawi is Professor of Middle East and Asian Studies at Columbia University and University Professor at the American University of Sharjah.
"The work has established the fact that Arabic poetry can indeed generate autochthonous critical dimensions, even when insights from other unrelated traditions are deployed or adapted." - Amidu Sanni, Lagos State University, Nigeria; British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies Vol 40, n0 2, pp. 224-226 (2013).