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Metapoesis in Late ʿAbbāsid Poetry: The Dove, the Crow, and the Camel in al-Maʿarrī’s Saqṭ al-Zand

Suzanne Stetkevych, Georgetown University

March 2, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 397 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building

Department of Religion; Department of Near Eastern Studies

This talk takes examples of 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.

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