This volume brings together a set of key studies on classical Arabic poetry (ca. 500-1000 C.E.), published over the last thirty-five years; the individual articles each deal with a different approach, period, genre, or theme. The major focus is on new interpretations of the form and function of the pre-eminent classical poetic genre, the polythematic qasida, or Arabic ode, particularly explorations of its ritual, ceremonial and performance dimensions. Other articles present the typology and genre characteristics of the short monothematic forms, especially the lyrical ghazal and the wine-poem. After thus setting out the full poetic genres and their structures, the volume turns in the remaining studies to the philological, rhetorical, stylistic and motival elements of classical Arabic poetry, in their etymological, symbolic, historical and comparatist dimensions. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych's Introduction places the articles within the context of the major critical and methodological trajectories of the field and in doing so demonstrates the increasing integration of Arabic literary studies into contemporary humanistic scholarship. The Selected Bibliography complements the Introduction and the Articles to offer the reader a full overview of the past generation of Western literary and critical scholarship on classical Arabic poetry.

chapter |54 pages

Oral Composition in Pre-Islamic Poetry *

ByJames T. Monroe

chapter 2|24 pages

Structuralist Interpretations of Pre-Islamic Poetry: Critique and New Directions *

BySuzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

chapter 5|22 pages

The Uses of the Qaṣĩda: Thematic and Structural Patterns in a Poem of Bashshār

Edited ByJulie Scott Meisami

chapter 6|14 pages

‘Abbāsid Praise Poetry in Light of Dramatic Discourse and Speech Act Theory

Edited ByBeatrice Gruendler

chapter 7|44 pages

Revisiting Layla Al-Akhyaliya’s Trespass*

Edited ByDana Sajdi

chapter 8|18 pages

Time and Reality in Nasīb and Ghazal

ByRenate Jacobi

chapter 9|22 pages

Heterotopia and The Wine Poem in Early Islamic Culture

ByYaseen Noorani

chapter 10|30 pages

Sensibility and Synaesthesia: Ibn Al-Rūmī’s Singing Slave-Girl

ByAkiko Motoyoshi

chapter 14|30 pages

Toward a Redifinition of ‘Badīʿ’ Poetry

BySuzanne Pinckney Stetkevych