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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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Rhythms and Rulers

Rhythms and Rulers

(p.21) 2 Rhythms and Rulers
Silencing the Sea
Stanford University Press

The sound was an important foundation of the Arab poetic tradition. The earliest rhythms of Arabic poetry probably evolved from a variety of sources, including the vast stillness of the sands or sweltering heat, and turned into a form that came to stand for Arabic poetry. This form has been known as qasida (ode) in Arabia for at least 1,600 years. This chapter explores some basic and influential concepts, techniques, words, figures, forces, and legends that animated and continue to animate the Arab poetic tradition, focusing on a set of encounters running through the history of Arabic poetry between political authority and the authority of poetry. It also examines the relation between Islam (and specifically the Quran) and poetry. By traversing the distance between the Quran and poetry, this chapter argues that in order to understand the place of local Palestinian poetry in the modern world, it is necessary to acknowledge its place in the larger Arab poetic tradition.

Keywords:   rhythms, sound, Arabic poetry, Palestinian poetry, Quran, Islam, qasida, political authority, history, ode

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