Abu Al-Tayyeb al-Mutanabbi, A Great Arab Poet – Part Two أبو الطيب المتنبي / 2
Arab American Encyclopedia – Poetry (Soon will be published in a book form)
The bold imagination and hypnotizing metaphors and hyperboles induced many to call Al Mutanabbi the most important representative of the panegyric poetic style. To understand Al Mutanabbi’s significance for Arabic poetry, one needs to take a closer look at the genres predominant at the time.
Al-Mutanabbi’s fame rests on one work, the Diwan. It is divided into five sections: the first part consists of poems written in Syria; the second part contains 161 poems, most dedicated to Saif al-Daula; the third part contains numerous poems written for a variety of occasions; the fourth part consists of five poems written for Ibn al ‘Amid; and the fifth and final part consists of seven poems for the Prince of Southern Persia, ‘Adud al-Daula. In all, the Diwan. encompasses 287 individual poems, ranging in length from a couple of lines to sixty stanzas.
As a poet, he experimented and mixed facets from Syrian, Egyptian, and Iraqi influences with orthodox Arabic standards. He, all times managed to capture the attention of Arabs and especially their rulers. He openly swollen with pride of his supremacy as a poet, Al Mutanabbi often sang his own praises with sentences such as the above famous line.
In addition, he had to be well informed about the different scientific disciplines and, most importantly, to feel comfortable with the native myths, legends, common beliefs, and traditions. He had to construct an entertaining blend of these and other elements and to make references to them in his poems. These mixes were masterfully used by Al Mutanabbi; they resulted in imaginary scenes and settings, oftentimes based on hobbies of the rulers such as shatranj or chess, polo, hunting and others. (322 words) www.askdryahya.com/index.html
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