Introduction to Arabic Poetry (Readings in Arabic Poetry 1)
This module is not a comprehensive overview of Arabic poetry. Rather, it seeks to initiate first-time students into poetry, which has proven to be overwhelming for many students. Experience tells us this is because students are thrown into the deep end (mu'allaqat, burdah etc) straight away when most have very little or no prior engagement with poetry.
This course intends to break the unnecessary phobia and ease students into more complex readings and styles. The first lesson will introduce Arabic poetry and literature and speak about the importance of poetry in Arabic. The rest of the lessons will comprise of reading through a number of samples - modern, contemporary and classical -, all of which have been carefully selected. The criteria of selection has been suitability/accessibility for novice students and diversity of content. This hopes to make the experience/engagement more fulfilling.
Outline of the course is as follows:
1. Introduction to Arabic poetry and its importance
2. Excerpts from Imam al-Shafi'i
3. Abu al-'Atahiyah, the Imam and founder of the zuhd genre in poetry
4-5 Hafiz Ibrahim, his poems on Arabic, Queen Victoria, Shakespeare and Macbeth
6-7 Dr. al-Qardhawi's ode "al-usuliyyun" (the fundamentalists)
8. Abu Nuwas, Bashar ibn Burd (Abbasid Love)
9. 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (wisdom)
10. The Prophet's Poet: Hassan ibn Thabit.
[note: the above is a provisional sketch and subject to change]
The goal is to read as much poetry as possible and further one's knowledge of the field. Contact time is 2 hours 30 mins, a minimum of 2-3 hours per week homework is essential.
Who is it for?
Students enrolling on this course will also require working knowledge of Arabic. The course will also prove worthwhile for the casual student and those students who have studied Arabic Language previously and would like to put their hard-earned Arabic learning to use.
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