Today we will get acquainted with the literature of Iraq, with Arabic love lyrics. It is hard to imagine a place on earth more colorful than the East. The special mentality of the Muslim people also leaves its mark. There, people think differently, feel more strongly, and that's probably why their lyrics are so charmingly beautiful. Let's look at the pages of the book and try to understand why this is so.
How was Arabic poetry born?
The Bedouins said that the swift, smooth rhythms of Arabic poetry were heard by the sensitive ear of a nomad in the rhythm of the steps of a running camel. To the beat of his run, the driver folded regges couplets. With the same couplets to the accompaniment of a tambourine, the women of the tribe greeted the winners returning from the battlefield, encouraged the soldiers during the skirmish, watching it from a high dune, and celebrated the most joyful event in the desert - the discovery of a reservoir or source.
And all this happened on the Arabian Peninsula, in the original home of the Arabs. This land is both harsh and fertile. Steppes spread out here, covered with a carpet of grasses in spring and drying up in summer. Here you can find oases reminiscent of heaven on earth, where water gives life to groves of slender date palms, vineyards and orchards. As one of the oldest Arab poets said, silence reigns here and only the voices of evil spirits echo.
As many-sided as the nature of the East, so is poetry. The most famous of the ancient examples of Arabic poetry are qasidas. At the beginning, there is usually a story about how, while driving through the steppe, the poet noticed the remains of a nomad camp where his beloved once lived. The sad sight of abandoned, decaying tents brings with it memories of past happy days, of meetings with a loved one. This is followed by a story about the battles, a description of a horse, camel, wolf or ostrich, a night journey through the desert, praising your tribe or leader.
In one and the same work, both the tenderness of a lover and the severity of a warrior are expressed, and battle scenes are interspersed with the chanting of voluptuous dates.
Qasidas are short poems consisting of several parts. Moreover, throughout the entire poem, regardless of its volume, there is only one rhyme. The poet does not bother looking for rhyming words, they come to him by themselves in the fabulous richness of the Arabic language, where each word combines extraordinary accuracy with ultimate capacity.
In addition to qasidas, in the ancient poetry of the East, one can also find short poems on one specific topic, but with a single and obligatory rhyme.
The Rise of Arabic Lyrics
The true flowering of Arabic lyrics falls on the VI century. A whole galaxy of talented poets is born, headed by Imruulkais. They tell about poetic competitions that were held annually at the fair in the small village of Ukaz, not far from Mecca. Poets and their numerous listeners gathered in tents pitched in the middle of a wide valley. To the low beat of a drum and the sounds of a shepherd's flute, poets or their students, storytellers with a good voice, chanted the lines of already known or newly composed poems. Earning the approval of discerning connoisseurs was not easy, but it was even more difficult to become a winner in these competitions. However, Imruulkais has repeatedly succeeded. Rumor proclaimed Imruulkais the "King of Poets".
In the works of Imruulkais, Jamil, Qays ibn Zarih and his other contemporaries there are many poems that we would call lyrical. A place of honor among them is occupied by poems glorifying love.
In the first half of VII, the Arabs adopted a new faith - Islam. Pagan idols were overthrown, and the temples of the deities Allat, Manat, Uzza, Wadda were destroyed. The first Muslim poets glorified the prophet and the true faith in their poems, and the main character was a warrior sacrificing himself for the triumph of his religion.
Imruulkais - King of Poets
What do we know about the mysterious Imruulkais? He lived around 500-540 years. His father, Hujr, was the leader of the Benu Assad tribe, and his mother was the sister of the famous heroes of the Taglib tribe, Mukhalkhil and Kuleib. Imruulkais began to compose poems at an early age. His father forbade him to do this, but the young man refused to obey the will of his father, for which he was expelled from the tribe. A few years later, news reached him that the Benu Assad tribe had rebelled and several of his tribesmen had killed his father. In order, according to custom, to take revenge on the murderers, Imruulkais decided to enlist the support of the Byzantine emperor Justinian. In the eyes of Justinian, he was slandered, saying that Imruulkais had dishonored the daughter of the emperor. The enraged Byzantine ruler sent poisoned clothes as a gift to the poet. Putting it on, the unsuspecting Imruulkais fell seriously ill and died.
In his poetry, Imruulkais sang valor, love and told about his adventures in the beautiful but wild steppe. We recommend reading a few of his poems right now, but it is better to contact the library for a collection of Arabic lyrics and also get acquainted with the work of Imruulkais's contemporaries.