Hot Best Seller

Abu Nuwas: A Genius of Poetry

Availability: Ready to download

Abu Nuwas (c. 756-813) was one of the greatest Arab poets of the classical period. In literary history, he is remembered chiefly as the hard-drinking and eloquent composer of dissolute wine poems, from which he emerges as one of the most charismatic figures in world literature. Yet, he was in fact an all-round poet and exerted a profound influence on Abbasid poetry more ge Abu Nuwas (c. 756-813) was one of the greatest Arab poets of the classical period. In literary history, he is remembered chiefly as the hard-drinking and eloquent composer of dissolute wine poems, from which he emerges as one of the most charismatic figures in world literature. Yet, he was in fact an all-round poet and exerted a profound influence on Abbasid poetry more generally; he is one of a handful of individuals who can be deemed to stand at the very heart of Arabic literary culture. Abu Nuwas presents the entertaining life story of this legendary figure alongside accessible translations of some of his most important poems. With commentaries, a glossary and a guide to further reading, this book is the ideal introduction to a true genius of Arabic literature.


Compare

Abu Nuwas (c. 756-813) was one of the greatest Arab poets of the classical period. In literary history, he is remembered chiefly as the hard-drinking and eloquent composer of dissolute wine poems, from which he emerges as one of the most charismatic figures in world literature. Yet, he was in fact an all-round poet and exerted a profound influence on Abbasid poetry more ge Abu Nuwas (c. 756-813) was one of the greatest Arab poets of the classical period. In literary history, he is remembered chiefly as the hard-drinking and eloquent composer of dissolute wine poems, from which he emerges as one of the most charismatic figures in world literature. Yet, he was in fact an all-round poet and exerted a profound influence on Abbasid poetry more generally; he is one of a handful of individuals who can be deemed to stand at the very heart of Arabic literary culture. Abu Nuwas presents the entertaining life story of this legendary figure alongside accessible translations of some of his most important poems. With commentaries, a glossary and a guide to further reading, this book is the ideal introduction to a true genius of Arabic literature.

46 review for Abu Nuwas: A Genius of Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    There are not many modern translations of Abu Nuwas available in English, and based on my sample of two this is is by far the better one. It comes with a cost: these are excerpts from the poems, and there are a limited number. But the translations are felicitous, and the context and commentary are invaluable in helping understand what Abu Nuwas was up to. Since Kennedy doesn’t try to recreate the rhymes or other poetic techniques such as alliteration, he often explains what happens in the origin There are not many modern translations of Abu Nuwas available in English, and based on my sample of two this is is by far the better one. It comes with a cost: these are excerpts from the poems, and there are a limited number. But the translations are felicitous, and the context and commentary are invaluable in helping understand what Abu Nuwas was up to. Since Kennedy doesn’t try to recreate the rhymes or other poetic techniques such as alliteration, he often explains what happens in the original Arabic so you get a sense of why the poet is so revered as an artist on every level. Kennedy does work meters that seem well-suited ot the poems, and his English versions are quite lovely. Here is Kennedy’s translation of a description of the Devil (Iblis) on an incident (per Kennedy) in the Qur’an on his refusal to prostrate himself before Adam: Incensed and enraged, You have watched malevolently upon mankind; You waxed proud when prostrating yourself anciently And split from the flower of those who bowed with you When you said, “I cannot abide to bow down, Lord, To a type you have created from clay!” You were jealous, for you were formed from smokeless fire [And were] master of the created realms... And as to why I prefer Kennedy to the other translation of Abu Nuwas I read recently, here is Jim Colville: The turmoil there was like a storm at sea, This ancient hag apppeared, dressed as a nun: An infidel and idol-worshipper. “And who might you lot be?” She asks of us. Say I, “Men famous for their spending sprees, Largesse and boundless prodigality Who have descended on your hostelry; So take this golden opportunity, Extend to us your hospitality And profit from our generosity. When we pack up and go your loot shall be Like David’s from Goliath’s property!” I’ve got just what you’re looking for,” She says, “But you must wait until the dawn appears.” “Madame, we want her now: wine is the dawn And night’s the perfect backdrop for her light. She gives of sparks like rubies, shining bright, Like guardian angels throuwing starts, like stones, At devils up in arms and mutinous!” Colville does convey the sense of the mono rhyme, but at the cost of the image. Here is Kennedy: In a night-cohort, turbulent and swollen, Like the sea which dazes the sailor with fear. Suddenly at that moment there appeared a heathen crone, Like a solemn anchoress, Tracing her lineage back through infidel stock, Monastic idol-worshippers, Inquiring, “Who are you?” We replied, ‘People you know, Every one open-handed, noted for his prodigality, Who along the way, have stopped at your house, so seize The liberality of the generous and name your price, For you have won a life of ease, provided you seize from us What David seized from Goliath. Be lively in making a profet from the, doing--at the same time-- A noble deed until they have left your house. Then you can sleep like the dead!" She said, “I have what you want. Wait until morning.” We replied, “No, bring it now!” It is it itself the morning; its clear radiance dispels’ The night when it shoots out sparks like rubies As the patrolling angels do, when, at night, they stone With the stars the rebelllious demon Afrits. Both translators are straightforward in conveying Abu Nuwas’s graphic erotic poetry, and have nice examples of the poetry of wine that uses language the identifies wine with a female beloved. Kennedy begins with a ten or so page biography of the poet . He then takes each category of poetry and provides some history of Arabic writing in that type, multiple examples ofAbu Nuwas’s poems (excerpts), and interpretation. These categories include wine, homoeroticism, satire, praise, elegy, etc. There is also a glossary and nice bibliography.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rusty del Norte

    Abu Nuwas is a book about the Arabic poet of the same name. He is from the early Abbasid Caliphate period (8th century to early 9th). And his poetry is well renowned in Arabic literature. The book is broken down into parts: A)Biography, B)Love Poetry, C)Wine Poetry, & D)Hunting Poetry. His love poetry & wine poetry often blend together & this is the largest part of the book. The hunting poetry seems to be of a later development when his patrons would take him on hunts. The book breaks down the lit Abu Nuwas is a book about the Arabic poet of the same name. He is from the early Abbasid Caliphate period (8th century to early 9th). And his poetry is well renowned in Arabic literature. The book is broken down into parts: A)Biography, B)Love Poetry, C)Wine Poetry, & D)Hunting Poetry. His love poetry & wine poetry often blend together & this is the largest part of the book. The hunting poetry seems to be of a later development when his patrons would take him on hunts. The book breaks down the literature fairly well. It can serve as a good primer for his work. The translations are modern & try to translate his works without sounding 'wooden' like a lot of older translations of important works have done in the past. As long as the reader knows what they are getting into with the type of imagery & satire he chose to employ, then they will do well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Giovanni Gregory

    Informative.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Abdulrahman

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

  6. 4 out of 5

    Felipe Arruda

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hal Johnson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marius

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ade R

  10. 4 out of 5

    A.M

  11. 5 out of 5

    AlKanadiyahh_

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abdullah Hussaini

  13. 5 out of 5

    Xavier

  14. 4 out of 5

    anka

  15. 4 out of 5

    E.E.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam toer

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shaitanah

  18. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

  20. 5 out of 5

    N

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caroline D

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shihab Ahmed Tuhin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leonardo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hesi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Khansa balaviev

  28. 4 out of 5

    Faryal Mukhtar

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashraf Maklad

  30. 5 out of 5

    Don Brookes

  31. 4 out of 5

    thurisaz

  32. 4 out of 5

    Yen

  33. 5 out of 5

    Marshall

  34. 5 out of 5

    Newreadman

  35. 5 out of 5

    Jur

  36. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  37. 5 out of 5

    Cambrone

  38. 5 out of 5

    Hany

  39. 5 out of 5

    Ash

  40. 5 out of 5

    D Murray

  41. 4 out of 5

    Zain Haider

  42. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  43. 5 out of 5

    Talha Ahsan

  44. 4 out of 5

    Rem

  45. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  46. 4 out of 5

    Inna Uchkunova

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.