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By Philip Kennedy

Abu Nuwas (c. 756-813) was once one of many maximum Arab poets of the classical interval. In literary background, he's remembered mainly because the hard-drinking and eloquent composer of dissolute wine poems, from which he emerges as probably the most charismatic figures in international literature. but, he used to be in reality an all-round poet and exerted a profound impression on Abbasid poetry extra typically; he's one among a handful of people who should be deemed to face on the very middle of Arabic literary tradition. Abu Nuwas offers the unique existence tale of this mythical determine along available translations of a few of his most vital poems. With commentaries, a word list and a consultant to extra interpreting, this publication is the precise creation to a real genius of Arabic literature.

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Women, when he could ride and travel by “land”, scilicet upon the backs of men. He composed one such poem on the occasion of his marriage. We know little about this betrothal, which appears to have been forced upon him; he felt little satisfaction at the union however, effectively lampooning his wife on the very evening of their wedding. Young adolescent boys became his sexual preference. Rowson observes that “he could be specific about the ideal age of the beloved ... Whatever the boy’s age ...

In the West we have seen what this Abu Nuwas looks like, as he features (though his name is never given) in one of the adapted tales from the Arabian Nights in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Fiore delle mile e una notte. Abu Nuwas is all too easily remembered exclusively as a “ritual clown” and for his bacchic and homoerotic poetry, and, at the other extreme, for the more mainstream eulogies and satires. But the creative and mercurial charm of the man seems to lie as much in the cumulative effect of such as the following anecdote: he once traveled with Waliba ibn al-Hubab from Kufa to Hira, on something of a poetic pilgrimage.

Yet again we sense that Abu Nuwas was already established locally during the time of this affair, but it is hard properly to gauge the nature of the actual relationship; some traditions tell us that Abu Nuwas moved to Baghdad soon after it ended with a heavy heart, others that it was he who was largely responsible for its demise having refused to accede to Janan’s conditions when offered her hand by her mistress – that he give up sleeping with boys. He moved to Baghdad in 786 CE, around the time of Harun al-Rashid’s accession, probably not so much heartbroken as to promote his literary vocation.

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