جماليات الزمن في الشعر: نموذج النسيب في القصيدة الجاهلية / The Aesthetica of Time in Poetry: A Comparative Approach to the Erotic Prologue of the Pre-Islamic Qasīda



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عز الدين, حسن البنا; Ezz El-Din, Hassan El-Banna

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Research Article

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Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[To appreciate the specificity of the aesthetics of time in pre-Islamic poetry, it is necessary to compare it to medieval Islamic poetry as well as to modern poetry. The introductory part of the pre-Islamic qasīda (ode) invariably dealt with al-nasīb, an erotic prologue making use of imagery related to the remains of the Bedouin encampment of the beloved. These prologues have an implied view of time formulated through the psychological perspective of the poet. Generally speaking, the poet contrasts his personal time projected through his reminiscence to impersonal time of nature seen through the traces of the beloved. Ruins encompass for the poet a condensation of the notion of time since their very presence points to the bygone past. Place is, therefore, converted to time in the poem. Thus the study of time in pre-Islamic poetry, as this article asserts and demonstrates, should not confine itself to depictions of time, but should deal with spatial elements that are correlatives of time. The pre-Islamic poet performs through the nasīb a dialogue with the past. The dialogical nature of the relationship between the poet and the past is explored in its various strategies and codes, from apostrophies addressed to the ruins to metaphors and metonyms that combine the now and then. The pre-Islamic poet uses the ruins to conjure the moment of departure, emblematized in the camel-borne sedan chair of the beloved, while invoking the vision of his lady. The ruins are also associated directly or indirectly with growing old. In medieval Islamic love poetry, however, the poet carries on a dialogue with the future, while situating himself in the present. As for the modern poet, the opposition is between time and consciousness. The modern poet's conception of time is emptied from the ancient poet's ontological obsessions. The concern of the modern poet is with discontinuities and dislocations, thus his attention concentrates on the fragmentations of the immediate present.]

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