✒EP033 Dr. Kevin Blankinship on al-Mutanabī (c.915-965CE): 'the Shakespeare of the Arabs.' Part 7 of 12 - Spring of Classical Arabic Poetry


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Dr. Kevin Blankinship, BYU Utah, speaks about the life, works and legacy of al-Mutanabbī, whose poetry continues to inspire.

Timestamps 01:44 Al-Mutanabbī was born in 915CE in the city Kufah in modern day Iraq at the height of the Abbasid caliphate but with rising challenges from sectarian foes. What do we know about his socio-political context?

05:34 Al-Mutanabbī was educated in Damascus and is said to have participated in Qaramatian revolts which we covered in episode 13 with Dr. Andani. What do we know about al-Mutanabbī’s life and what is the origin of his name?

19:22 Al-Mutanabbī is particularly known as being the court poet of Sayf al-Dawlaḧ, ruler of Aleppo. How would you characterise his works?

22:15 In February 2021, NASA tweeted some lines by al-Mutanabbī to congratulate the UAE satellite reaching Mars. Al-Mutanabbī’s reputation has now reached across the stars. That would have been very appealing to his reputed big head. How do we assess his legacy?

30:18 Finally, let's end with a sample and translation.

This is the seventh part of a twelve part series exploring classical Arabic poetry which can be utilised in college-level teaching programmes. For more on our guest, see kblankinship.com. Sponsored by shop.ihrc.org

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