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“Linnet-like Confined I... Shall Sing”: The Freedom-Imprisonment Duality in the Poetry of Abū Firās al-amdānī and Richard Lovelace

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[AbstractThis paper explores the freedom-imprisonment duality as a major theme common to the poetry of two poets: Abū Firās al-amdānī and Richard Lovelace. There is a striking resemblance not only between the two poets’ real-life experiences, but also the manner in which they transformed them into a lasting art, suggesting a continuity of chivalric spirit across Arabic and English poetics, most obvious in the emotional attachments of these two poets, and in their allegiance to loved ones and rulers. Imprisonment in their case is ennobled by the causes behind it, and the courage with which they endured it, and as such worked as a crucible, especially for al-amdānī, yielding self-knowledge and a better understanding of those inhabiting his world. The study looks further into some distinguishing characteristics, namely the heroic dimension of Abū Firās al-amdānī’s poetry against the more amorous connections with this duality in Lovelace’s poetry, and in so doing shows how even in the isolation of imprisonment experienced by these two poets, both the outside world, and indeed larger world literary traditions, impressed themselves upon their poetics., Abstract This paper explores the freedom-imprisonment duality as a major theme common to the poetry of two poets: Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī and Richard Lovelace. There is a striking resemblance not only between the two poets’ real-life experiences, but also the manner in which they transformed them into a lasting art, suggesting a continuity of chivalric spirit across Arabic and English poetics, most obvious in the emotional attachments of these two poets, and in their allegiance to loved ones and rulers. Imprisonment in their case is ennobled by the causes behind it, and the courage with which they endured it, and as such worked as a crucible, especially for al-Ḥamdānī, yielding self-knowledge and a better understanding of those inhabiting his world. The study looks further into some distinguishing characteristics, namely the heroic dimension of Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī’s poetry against the more amorous connections with this duality in Lovelace’s poetry, and in so doing shows how even in the isolation of imprisonment experienced by these two poets, both the outside world, and indeed larger world literary traditions, impressed themselves upon their poetics.]

Affiliations: 1: University of Jordan, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink; 2: Middle East University, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink

10.1163/157006411X596168
/content/journals/10.1163/157006411x596168
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/content/journals/10.1163/157006411x596168
2011-01-01
2016-12-08

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