Metapoesis in the Late ʿAbbāsid Age

The Dove, the Crow, and the Camel in al-Maʿarrī’s Saqṭ al-Zand
Suzanne Stetkevych
Feb 26, 2024 at - | Griski Meeting Room
Houston Hall, Room 311

This talk takes examples from Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī’s (363–449/973–1057) use of animal imagery—doves, crows, camels—to conduct an exploration of the themes of mourning, longing, and of poetry itself in his first diwan, Saqṭ al-Zand (First Sparks of the Tinder). It seeks to explore the interplay of onomatopoeia, etymology, and myth in the creative process whereby al-Maʿarrī decodes and refigures the Arabic poetic tradition to create a distinctive Late ʿAbbāsid metapoetics.