المعجم الشعرﻱ والصراع بين الشعراء والنقاد العرب / The Poetical Lexicon in Arabic Tradition



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حسنين, أحمد طاهر; Hassanein, Ahmad Taher

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[The language of poetry, according to the medieval Arab practical critics, was supposed to conform to: i) the language of the Qur'an and the Arabic lexicon, ii) the established morphological patterns, iii) the regular grammatical rules, iv) certain acoustic values, v) earlier and established poetic examples and tradition. In a word, the language of poetry was supposed to be complete. Hence, poetry was evaluated on the basis of each of these criteria. The poet was by no means allowed to use a word loosely or arbitrarily. Any attempt to do so was violently condemned by the critic. The poet was also blamed if he introduced in his poetry any odd or no longer used words, although these words might still be part of the Arabic dictionary. More reasonably, the poet was blamed if he used colloquialisms or foreign words, which were outside the scope of the Arabic dictionary. In an attempt to pass judgement on the validity of the critics' objections, Ahmad Taher Hassanein found that the critics appear to havebeen right in some cases, the poets in some others, and that there remain some cases where the truth lies somewhere between the opposing viewpoints. In these last cases, the poets, in spite of their deviation from the conventional norms of the language, can be defended in various ways. Arab critics charged poets with mistakes, depending on the dictionary. However, Ahmad Taher Hassanein has attempted to demonstrate that the dictionaries can also serve to refute critics' notions. The Arab poets often prove to be more authoritative than the critics with regard to using words in a way which conforms to the Arabic lexicon.]

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