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by Imrulkais of Kinda,Charles G. Tuetey
Imrulkais of Kinda is one of the earliest Arab poets, and one of the most celebrated. In his poetry, the theme of Woman becomes fused with the tragedy of his ancient clan. His poetry assumes a deeper significance culminating in the beautiful reconciliation as he faces the last hours of his short, odysseyan life. In a world where tragedy is ever imminent, he is both the hunter and the hunted. It is the poetry of the desert, stripped to the bare essentials. The Prophet of Islam is supposed to have said, nearly a century later, that Imrulkais was the greatest of poets--and their leader to Hell. The status of Imrulkais in Arab literature is comparable to that of Homer in ours. In the West, the notorious difficulty (some say 'impossibility') of translating pre-Islamic poetry has hitherto confined his name within the walls of the faculty. Charles Greville Tuetey took an entirely fresh approach in his translation, breaking away completely from the old familiar models: "To render this unique poetry of the Arabian desert, you have to chip your English from the live rock." He as adopted an idiom that is both modern and requitable, and as compact in style as the original. A fascinating look at life from 500-535 A.D.
Imrulkais of Kinda,Charles G. Tuetey
Diploma Press Ltd (March 1977)
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