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51 51 Ibn al-Rūmī: On His Poetry ُ ‫ر‬ ‫ج‬ � � ‫�ش‬���‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬ � ّ ‫ك‬ � �� ُ ‫ر‬ ‫ف‬ ��‫ي‬ �‫ك‬ � �� ‫ى‬ � �‫ر‬ ‫�ت‬ ‫�ا‬‫م‬� ‫أ‬ � ‫ح‬ �‫د‬‫�ا‬‫م‬�‫ر‬‫ع‬ � ِ‫ش‬ ��� ‫ب‬ �‫ا‬�‫ع‬ � ‫ن‬ �‫م‬ ‫ل‬ �� ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫و‬� ‫�ق‬ � � ُ ‫ر‬‫�م‬� ‫ث‬ �‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ه‬�‫ن‬ �‫ي‬ ��‫ب‬ �� ‫ك‬‫و‬� ‫�ش‬��‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬‫و‬�� ‫س‬��‫ب‬ �‫�ا‬ ‫ي‬ �‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬ � ‫ش‬ ��� ‫�خ‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬‫و‬�� ُ‫ء‬‫�ا‬‫ح‬ � ‫ل‬��‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ه‬�‫ي‬ � ‫ف‬ � � � ‫ب‬ � ّ ‫ك‬ � �� ُ ‫ر‬ qūlā li-man ʿāba shiʿra mādiḥihī ʾa-mā tarā kayfa rukkiba sh-shajarū rukkiba fīhi l-liḥāʾu wal-khashabu l-yābisu wash-shawku baynahu th-thamarū164 Meter (al-munsariḥ): XXSL LSLS LSSL / XXSL LSLS LSSL. ʿAlī ibn al-ʿAbbās ibn Jurayj, called Ibn al-Rūmī (221/836–283/896), was the son of a Byzantine convert. He lived in Baghdad as a professional poet, excelling not only in panegyrical odes (some of them very long) but also in epigrams. He produced a large number of extremely vile lampoons, both short and lengthy. His style is often argumentative, almost prosaic. He is known for his exhaustive treatment of themes and motifs, as if milking them dry, and for his wayward, unconventional opinions, such as preferring black to white, as in the next poem, or the narcissus to the rose, as in the passage quoted by ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī (see below, p.282).165 Say, you two,166 to the man who finds fault with his eulogist: Do you not see how a tree is composed? It’s composed of bark and dry wood and of thorns, with fruits in between. One might expect a good finish in things that the Lord of Lords has created, rather than man; But there isn’t! Or rather, there is the opposite, for reasons ordained by divine decree. And God knows better than we about the decrees in His providence: everything is for the best. So let people forgive him who falters and him who falls short in his verse: he is human! 5 52 52 52 52 Verse And let them consider that minds are exhausted and thoughts worked to death for its sake! In his quest he resembles a diver who dives in the depths of the sea, seeking pearls at his peril; There, choices are made when one picks up the precious and leaves what remains. He who dives deep cannot help coming up with choice pearls and with trash. 8 7 9 10 ...


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