Arabic Poetry: Trajectories of Modernity and Tradition, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Arabic Poetry

Trajectories of Modernity and Tradition, 1st Edition

By Muhsin J. al-Musawi


328 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415595919
pub: 2010-07-29
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780415769921
pub: 2006-01-11
SAVE ~$39.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203965412
pub: 2006-09-27
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


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.


"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).

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

About the Author

Muhsin J. al-Musawi is Professor of Middle East and Asian Studies at Columbia University and University Professor at the American University of Sharjah.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures

Routledge Curzon Studies in Middle-Eastern Literatures is a monograph series devoted to aspects of the literatures of the Near and Middle East and North Africa both modern and pre-modern. It is hoped that the provision of such a forum will lead to a greater emphasis on the comparative study of the literatures of this area, although studies devoted to one literary or linguistic region are warmly encouraged. It is the editors' objective to foster the comparative and multi-disciplinary investigation of the written and oral literary products of this area.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POETRY / Middle Eastern
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies