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75 75 Five Epigrams on Death and Belief, by Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (363/973–449/1057) was born in Maʿarrat al-Nuʿmān in Syria. Blind from early childhood, he was an important poet and prose writer, and also an eccentric, controversial for his allegedly heretical ideas (including being a vegan). Of his two substantial collections of verse the later one is called Luzūm mā lā yalzam (The Necessity of What is Not Necessary), or al-Luzūmiyyāt, after the self-imposed “rich rhyme” (the rhyme of each poem is based on two consonants rather than one) and some further voluntary restrictions. Instead of the conventional mixture of genres this large collection consists only of gnomic poetry, mostly short and epigrammatic. The poet pours his scorn on the world; he hates all men, and women even more. At times he seems to reject the conventional dogmas and rites of Islam , even though in most other poems he is, or poses as, a pious Muslim. A splendid selection of more than three hundred fragments in English translation , often rendered as poetry, is contained in Nicholson, Studies in Islamic Poetry, pp. 43–289 (“The Meditations of Ma‘arrí”). In the prose section of this anthology a lengthy passage from his most famous prose work is offered. I. “We laughed” ‫ا‬‫و‬�‫ك‬ � � �‫ب‬ �‫ي‬ �� ‫ن‬ � ‫أ‬ � ‫ة‬ ��‫ط‬ �� �‫ي‬ �‫��س‬‫ب‬ ��‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ن‬ �‫�ا‬ّ ‫ك‬ � � � ُ ‫��س‬‫ل‬� � ‫ق‬ � � ُ ‫ح‬ �‫و‬�� ً‫ة‬ ��‫ه‬�‫�ف�ا‬�‫س‬�� ‫�ا‬‫ن‬ �‫م‬� ُ ‫ك‬��‫ح‬ �‫�ض‬ �� � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ن‬ �‫�ا‬‫ك‬ � �� ‫و‬�� ‫�ن�ا‬ ْ ‫ك‬ � � �‫ح‬ �‫�ض‬ �� � ُ ‫ك‬�� ْ ‫ب‬ � َ ‫�س‬� ‫ه‬�‫ل‬� � ‫د‬‫ع�ا‬ � ُ ‫ي‬ �� ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫ن‬ �‫ك‬ � � �‫ل‬�� ‫و‬�� ‫�ج‬ �‫�ج�ا‬ � ُ ‫�ا �ز‬‫ن‬ �‫ن‬ �� ‫أ‬ ��‫ك‬ � �� ‫ن‬ �‫�ا‬‫م‬�‫�ز‬‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ُ ‫ب‬ �‫ي‬�� َ ‫ر‬ ‫�ا‬‫ن‬ �‫�م‬ ّ ‫�ط‬ �� � ‫ح‬ �‫ي‬ � ḍaḥiknā wa-kāna ḍ-ḍiḥku minnā safāhatan wa-ḥuqqa li-sukkāni l-basīṭati ʾan yabkū yuḥaṭṭimunā raybu z-zamāni ka-ʾannanā zujājun wa-lākin lā yuʿādu lahū sabkū250 Meter (al-ṭawīl): SLX SLLL SLX SLSL / SLX SLLL SLS LLL. We laughed, and O how foolish was our laughter! Dwellers on earth should cry and never cease. Time’s vagaries crush us like glass; thereafter We’ll never be remolded as one piece. 76 76 76 76 Verse II. “If after death” ِ‫ه‬�‫ي‬ � ‫ف‬ � � � ‫ا‬� ‫ل‬� َ‫ت‬ �� ‫ي‬ � � ‫�ف‬ � � ‫�ا‬‫ن‬ � ْ ‫ع‬ �‫م‬�‫�ط‬ �� � ‫ف‬ � � � ‫ا‬� ‫ل‬�‫ت‬ �‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ع�د‬ �‫ب‬ �� ‫ه‬�‫ت‬ � ‫ئ‬ ��‫ي‬ �‫ه‬ �‫�ب‬� ‫ً�ا‬ ‫ك‬ � �� ‫و‬��‫تر‬ ��‫م‬� ‫ك‬��‫م‬�‫س‬�� ‫�ج‬ � ‫ن‬ �‫�ا‬‫ك‬ � �� ‫و‬�‫ل‬� � ِ‫ه‬�‫ي‬ � ‫ف‬ � � � ً‫ة‬ �‫ر‬‫م‬� ‫ت‬ �‫د‬‫ع�ا‬ �‫ف‬ � � � ‫م‬ � َ ّ ‫ط‬ �� � ‫ح‬ �‫ي‬ � ‫م‬ � ‫ل‬ �� ‫و‬�� ‫ه‬�‫ب‬ �� ‫ن‬ �‫و‬�‫ك‬ � � �‫ت‬ � ٍ ‫ح‬ �‫ا‬‫ر‬ ‫ن‬ �‫م‬� ‫ل‬� ّ ‫�ط‬ �� � ُ ‫ع‬ � ّ‫ن‬ � َ ّ ‫د‬��‫ل‬� � ‫�ا‬‫ك‬ � �� law kāna jismuka matrūkan bi-hayʾatihī baʿda t-talāfi ṭamiʿnā fī talāfīhī ka-d-danni ʿuṭṭila min rāḥin takūnu bihī wa-lam yuḥaṭṭam fa-ʿādat marratan fīhī251 Meter (al-basīṭ): XLSL XSL LLSL SSL / XLSL XSL LLSL LL. If after death your body kept its shape, We might hope it will be revived again, Just as a jug, emptied of wine, could be Refilled, as long as it remains unbroken. But all its parts have come undone and turned To particles of dust swept by the winds. III. “I wish my death would happen in a desert land” ِ ‫م‬ � ‫ل‬ �� ْ ‫ع‬ � َ ‫م‬ ‫ل‬ � ‫ب�ا‬ �� ‫س‬��‫ي‬ ��‫ل‬� � ٌ ‫ع‬ �‫م‬� ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫ه‬�‫ب‬ �� ٍ ‫ه‬� َ ‫�م‬ ْ ‫ه‬ � َ ‫م‬� ‫ي‬ � � ‫�ف‬ � � َ ‫ي‬ � �ِ‫�ت‬ � ‫ف�ا‬� � �‫و‬�� ُ ‫ت‬ �‫دد‬‫و‬�� ِ ‫م‬ � َ ‫ل‬ ��‫�ظ‬ �� � ُ‫�ت‬� ‫م‬ � ‫ل‬ �� ‫ض‬ �� �‫ر‬ ‫أ‬� � ‫ل‬ � � ‫ا‬ ‫ي‬ � � ‫�ف‬ � � ‫ن‬ � ‫ف‬ �� � �‫د‬ ُ ‫أ‬ �‫و‬�� ‫ا‬ ً ‫د‬‫ر‬ ‫ف‬ ��ُ ‫م‬� ‫ا‬ ً ‫د‬��‫ح‬ �‫ا‬‫و‬�� ‫ه‬�‫ب‬ �� ‫ت‬ �‫و‬�‫م‬� ‫أ‬ � wadidtu wafātiya fī mahmahin bihī lāmiʿun laysa bil-maʿlamī ʾamūtu bihī wāḥidan mufradan wa-ʾudfanu fī l-ʾarḍi lam tuẓlamī252 Meter (al-mutaqārib): SLX SLX SLX SL(S) / SLX SLX SLX SL. I wish my death would happen in a desert land Where shimmering mirages mark no roads. There would I die, all on my own, alone, Be buried in unsullied, virgin soil, 77 77 77 77 Abū l-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī Far from a man who says, “No peace on you!” Or one who says, “Be greeted, earth!” I fear you’ll make my resting place Next to a traitor unbeliever or a Muslim. “You’re pushing!” he will say; I shall reply, “It’s they who did us wrong; I did not know.” IV. “For holy fear” ُ ‫د‬‫�ا‬‫ه‬ � ‫ج‬ � � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ع‬ � ‫ن‬ �‫�ص‬ � ‫�ا‬‫م‬� ‫ن‬ �‫و‬��‫د‬‫ر‬‫�ص‬ � ‫�ق‬� ‫ي‬ ��‫و‬�� ‫�فً�ا‬ � �‫و‬� ‫خ‬ � � ُ ّ ‫ي‬ � � �‫�د‬‫ن‬ �‫ه‬ � ‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫ه‬� َ ‫��س‬ ‫�ف‬�‫ن‬ �� ‫ق‬ � � �ّ ‫ر‬‫ح‬ �‫ي‬ � ‫ا‬‫و‬��‫د‬‫�ا‬‫�ه‬‫و‬�� ‫ا‬‫و‬�� ‫أ‬ ��‫ب‬ �‫�ص‬ � ‫ة‬ ��ّ ‫ي‬ �‫ع‬ �‫ر‬ ‫�ش‬�� ‫ا‬ � ‫ل‬ � � ‫و‬�� ‫ى‬ � �‫ر‬ ‫ص�ا‬� �‫ن‬ �‫ل‬� � ‫ا‬ ‫د‬‫�ا‬ّ ‫ب‬ � ُ ‫ع‬ � ‫ه‬� ْ‫ت‬ �‫ل‬��‫ع‬ �‫ف‬ � � � ‫�ا‬‫م‬�‫و‬�� yuḥarriqu nafsahu l-hindiyyu khawfan wa-yaqṣuru dūna mā ṣanaʿa l-jihādū wa-mā faʿalat’hu ʿubbādu n-naṣārā wa-lā sharʿiyyatun ṣabaʾū wa-hādū253 Meter (al-wāfir): SLSSL SLSSL SLL / SLSSL SLSSL SLL. For holy fear the Hindu burns himself (Muslim Jihad has never done as much, Neither did Christian worshipers, nor those Who followed Sabian254 or Jewish creed.) He takes his body freely to the fire, By his religion driven and his zeal. Man’s death is but a very lengthy sleep And all his lifetime but insomnia. We’re bid farewell with prayer and despair And left alone, unmoving, in the dust. Should I be scared of earth, of Mother Earth? Your mother’s lap: a splendid resting place. When I am parted from my subtle soul, Let no spring rains pour on the rotting bones! 78 78 78 78 Verse V. “Your mouths proclaim” ْ ‫ه‬�‫ل‬� ّ ‫ل‬��‫ه‬ � ‫م‬� ‫ق‬ � � �‫و‬� ‫�ق‬�‫ح‬ � ‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫ن‬ �‫و‬��‫د‬ ‫م‬ �‫ك‬ � � �‫��س‬‫و‬� ‫�ف‬�‫ن‬ ��‫و‬�� ‫م‬ �‫ك‬ � � �‫ب‬�‫و‬�‫ل‬�� ‫ق‬ � � �‫و‬�� ‫م‬ �‫ك‬ � � � ُ ‫�ه‬‫ا‬‫و‬� ‫�ف‬ � � ‫أ‬ � ْ‫ت‬ �‫ل‬�‫ل‬��‫ه‬� ‫ن‬ � ‫�إ‬ ْ ‫ه‬�‫ل‬� ّ ‫ل‬��‫ح‬ � ‫م‬� ُ ‫ت‬ �‫ي‬ �‫م‬� ُ ‫ك‬ � � �‫ل‬�� ‫ا‬ ‫�ا‬‫ه‬ �‫ي‬ � ‫ف‬ � � � ْ‫ت‬ �‫ي‬ � ‫�ف‬� ْ ‫ل‬� �ُ ‫أ‬ � ‫ن‬ � ‫ة �إ‬�‫ر‬‫ي‬ ��‫ن‬ � ُ ‫�م‬‫ب‬� ‫م‬ �‫ك‬ � � � ُ‫ت‬ �‫ا‬‫ر‬‫و‬� ‫�ت‬� ‫�ا‬‫م‬� ُ ‫ت‬ �‫ي‬ �‫ل‬� �‫آ‬ � ʾin hallalat ʾafwāhukum fa-qulūbukum wa-nufūsukum dūna l...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814745113
Related ISBN
9780814770276
MARC Record
OCLC
859687281
Pages
496
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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