لغة الحلم والأسطورة فى شعر السبعينات فى مصر / The Language of Dreams and Myths: Egyptian Poets of the Seventies



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عبد الحميد, شاكر; Abdul Hamid, Shakir

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[The article opens with a review of seminal theoretical works on dreams and myths, arguing for the importance of analyzing such poetic motifs and structures in order to understand the significance of the poems and their dialectic with reality. Egyptian poets known as the generation of the seventies have used dreams and myths to convey personal and collective aspirations and anxieties. The study addresses the works of five poets: Muhammad Sulaiman, Abdul Maqsud Abdul Karim, Walid Munir, Rifʿat Sallam and Muhammad Adam. Sulaiman's poems chosen by the author for close reading use sacred texts and figures such as King Solomon to portray the poet's vision. Thus the heritage is used to foreground a contemporary outlook. In Sulaiman's poetry, the dream signifies absences of political nature. The poet's diction draws on the four elements in nature: water, fire, earth and air. In analyzing the poetic use of these elements and their symbolism, the author of the study demonstrates that they do not only reveal struggle in nature but also struggle among men. The poems of Abdul Karim use the motif of dreams in their nightmarish dimension. Such dreams reveal a state of despair and impotence which produces a fragmented structure. Images follow each other in a disconnected way, creating the impression of a dream-like situation. The poems allude to a threatening reality where the "tribe" and its parallel, the "beloved", are equally disappointing. This cruel poetry attempts to inflict suffering while mixing inner and external worries in its discourse. In Munir's poetry, the dream is associated with childhood and contrasted to disconcerting reality. In the dream, bliss and intimacy are projected and the dream functions as a defensive mechanism in a frustrating world. Sallam's dream motifs connote an erotic dimension which in its turn suggests the possibilities of fertility and rebirth. But such dreams also exhibit fear and anxieties when suddenly the poem presents scenes of sterility and waste. The surrealistic character of such poems correspond to the realistic events in recent Egyptian history where hopes and disappointments alternated. Adam's poems often present unfulfilled dreams. Philosophic, mystic and mythic diction characterizes Adam's poetry, where the beloved is a metaphor for mother earth.]

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