Poetry and Literature

Authored by: Teresa Garulo

The Routledge Handbook Of Muslim Iberia

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138649149
eBook ISBN: 9781315625959
Adobe ISBN:


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Under Arab and Islamic rule in al-Andalus (second/eighth-ninth/fifteenth centuries), poets and men of letters, after an initial period of assimilation of literary genres and movements that had originated in the East, were able to create a vibrant literary culture, well qualified to compete with that produced in other regions of the Islamic world. Some of their most original creations, e.g. the strophic poetry (muwashshaḥa and zajal), were appreciated and imitated by Eastern Arab poets from the sixth/twelfth century until the twentieth. Their seductive descriptions of the gardens and landscapes of al-Andalus very soon became the moving expression of nostalgia for a land whose final loss was presaged long before Granada’s conquest in 897/1492, giving birth to the image of a lost paradise that is, even now, evocative. This chapter is a brief account of some of the characteristics of this literature and of its most outstanding authors.

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