UNSQUARING THE CIRCLE: REREADING A POEM BY AL-MU � TAMID IBN � ABBAD * BY JULIE SCOTT MEISAMI AYMOND SCHEINDLIN'S 1974 analysis of compositional techni- Rques in the poems of al-Muctamid ibn 'Abbdd (1039-1095)' 1 remains a landmark in the study of Arabic poetic structure. Challenging the traditional view «that the Arabic poem is not an organic whole, but an aggregation of various unrelated or only tenuously related parts» (p. 2), Scheindlin demonstrated the atten- tion given by the Hispano-Arabic poet to the structure of his poems, and sought to develop «techniques of analysis that could...be applied to Arabic poetry of other regions and periods» (p. 7). His results were limited, however, by his reduction of the structural strategies found in al-Mu?tamid's poems to a single basic pattern conceived of as being fundamental to the poet's style: the «anticipation-resolution» pattern, found at a variety of composi- tional levels from single verses to groups of verses to entire poems and seen as deriving from the system of Arabic prosody itself. This pattern provides the structural perspective from which Scheindlin views whole poems as constituted of «verse-blocks» organized ac- cording to the same structural principles as the single verses of
Arabica – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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