KHAMR AND HIKMA IN JAHILI POETRY 1 Any diachronous study of al-qawl fi l-khamr, 2 or wine poetry, which seeks to gain a full understanding of its intended meaning in the light of the inherited poetic tradition of Bacchic celebration must needs begin in the Jiihiliyya; equally any serious study of Jiihilz poetry in general must needs discuss every accepted theme to at least a minimum extent. A problem remains, however, as to whether or not we can consider Khamr as an individual theme or as a subset of another theme, such as Nasib, Hikma or Fakhr. Bencheikh4 has his finger on the pulse of the matter in identifying wine in the compositions of certain poets (notably 'Ad! b. Zaid, al-A?sha and calqama) as an independent theme with a nascent framework of its own; elsewhere, however, and most commonly, Bacchic elements are no more than "scattered and corollary statements", i.e. brief similes celebrating the Habib of the amatory ingress or fleeting expressions of Fakhr that are seldom accorded more than a hemistich. In the latter state the Bacchic element is dependent on another major theme in which it is contained; by extension this must also be true of
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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