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Silencing the SeaSecular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry$
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Khaled Furani

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804776462

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804776462.001.0001

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The Laity Outside Poetry's Temple

The Laity Outside Poetry's Temple

(p.216) 12 The Laity Outside Poetry's Temple
Silencing the Sea
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how secularism pervades Arabic prose poets' relation to the public. Unlike the traditional poets who place themselves above the public and unlike modernist poets of free verse who consider themselves ahead of the public, prose poets have a tendency to position themselves in a place that not only contains the two earlier positions but also transcends them. For prose poets, poetry is its own realm. Paradoxically, their argument that poetry is self-sufficient is punctured by another claim: that their poetry requires mediation for the laity. Six female poets mentioned in this book were devoted mainly to prose while occasionally dabbling in free verse. Two of them found the prose poem to be more feminine, presumably consistent with the secular freedom advanced by feminism in its dominant modes.

Keywords:   secularism, prose poetry, public, laity, poets, free verse, feminism, Arabic poetry

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