By Mark S Wagner
"Like Joseph in good looks" lines the evolution of an Arabic poetic shape referred to as 'Humayni poetry'. From Muslim mystical circles, the courts of noblemen in Highland Yemen, and kabbalist circles of Yemenite Jews, Humayni poetry distinguishes itself with lyricism, musicality, and eroticism. It additionally performs quite a few code-switching linguistic video games. The publication addresses the connections among the Humayni poetry of Yemen and the sacred poetry of Jews from Yemen, a hitherto-neglected bankruptcy within the background of Arabic and Jewish literatures. The e-book culminates with a dialogue of how during which poets and critics in modern day Yemen and in Israel remodeled this poetry.
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Additional resources for Like Joseph in Beauty: Yemeni Vernacular Poetry and Arab-Jewish Symbiosis (Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures)
22 Thus, the claim that Ibn Falītah was the forefather of ḥ umaynī poetry is unfounded. 23 According to the historian al-Mizjājī, three Rasūlid sultans attended the audition (samāʿ) sessions of the Sufi master Ismāʿīl b. 25 Both Ibn al-ʿArabī and al-Tilimsānī had written strophic poetry. 27 According to al-Mizjājī, the shaykh Muḥammad b. ”28 If ḥ umaynī poetry originated in the musical rituals of Yemeni Sufis, why was a courtier, Ibn Falītah, identified as its first practitioner? These origins may have been deliberately hidden.
Due to the fact that this poem refers to a place called “al-Muharraq,” this particular al-Sharaf must be the one northwest of Ṣanʿāʾ. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Ḥ ajrī, Majmūʿ buldān al-yaman wa-qabāʾilihā (Ṣanʿāʾ: Dār al-ḥikmah al-yamaniyyah, 1996), 2:690. 2 Ibn Sharaf al-Dīn, Dīwān, 125–130. 34 chapter two who was depressed . ” (“al-muḥ tawī ʿalāʾ l-majānah al-muʿjibah wa l-fakāhah al-muṭribah mā law samiʿahu kaʾībun istarāḥ . 3 At the watering hole I met a beast, a demon wearing a ragged wool pullover, Black, bearing a big bucket, panting, a death-rattle echoing in her throat, A monkey without a tail, her cheeks like old shoes.
Abdallah Sharaf al-Dīn. ʿĪsā b. Luṭf Allāh writes: This is a style that is not loved by the poets of Yemen. It is loved by the people of Egypt and Syria. They have written so much of it that it has become an ugly thing. 17 One major poet and patron of ḥ umaynī poetry in the eighteenth century, Ismāʿīl b. 18 Nevertheless, it is unclear how Yemenis knew about strophic poetry that was written elsewhere in the Arab world. 19 If ḥ umaynī poetry sprang from the Andalusian muwashshaḥ , which tradition of strophic poetry influenced it: the classicized and secular poetry of the Ayyūbid courts, or the linguistically simple but theologically complex poetry of the Sufi master Ibn al-ʿArabī and his Syrian and North African imitators?