By Philip Kennedy
A readable survey of this celebrated ninth century Arab poet.
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Additional info for Abu Nuwas (Makers of the Muslim World)
And so they went on, gastronomy giving way to connoisseurship of wine, their reverie only finally being pricked by arrival at Hira. Abu Nuwas could refashion the world in poetry, and the world he created and inhabited was both real and imaginary. The medieval compilers of his life stories too created a largely imaginary world which we cannot but inhabit a part of it when we reconstruct his life. 045 19/02/2005 11:37 AM Page 29 2 “ L OV E , W I N E , S O D O M Y . . ’ ” (D. iv, 196) “I have exhausted the expression of a lover’s grievance ...
But it was nevertheless essentially distinctive in several respects. 045 19/02/2005 11:37 AM Page 31 “LOVE, WINE, SODOMY ... AND THE LASH” 31 religious practice into a quasi-spiritual enterprise), and even more significantly in its changed perspectives of time and reality. The ‘udhri poet was an introspective individual; he had a subjective view of the world which he observed through the filter of his love and suffering. The outer world, according to the way he viewed its landscape and fauna, was internalized in psychological harmony with him.
Yet I have not lost hope of your return, Despite yourself, you fool! I am not Abu Murra if you do not rescind; You would be naïve to think so. (D. There are several Qur’anic allusions in these “satanic verses”. Reference to rebellious demons being chased from the heavens by shooting stars, as described in Islamic scripture, is easy to detect. But there is also, and more essentially, allusion to the dialogue between God and Iblis in Surat al-Hijr (Q. 045 19/02/2005 11:37 AM Page 47 “LOVE, WINE, SODOMY ...
Abu Nuwas (Makers of the Muslim World) by Philip Kennedy