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56. Arab Poetry

 

 

56. Arab Poetry
“There is my uncle’s son walking along the edge of a precipice. Shall I go and, from behind, push him down the rocky valley to die without a dawn? Considering his treatment I am perfectly justified in doing so; but it is mean and unmanly to do such a thing.”
So says the Arab poet in the Hamasa (?) This passage may be taken as a typical specimen of Arab poetry. No poetry is so direct, so straightforward and so manly in spirit. The Arab is intensely attached to reality; brilliancy of colour does not attract him. The poet Mutanabbi, however, may be regarded as an exception; but he is an Arab poet by language only; in spirit he is thoroughly Persian.

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