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The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala   By: (973-1057)

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The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala offers readers a profound glimpse into the mind and heart of an Arabic poet, whose words transcend time and culture. While the true identity of the author remains unknown, the compilation of poems within this book speaks volumes about the struggles and triumphs of the human experience.

Spanning various themes such as love, death, society, and spirituality, the poems encapsulate a wide range of emotions. Abu'l-Ala's words effortlessly transport the reader to a bygone era, immersing them in the rich tapestry of Arab culture. From the lively markets of medieval Baghdad to the serenity of a moonlit desert, each verse paints vivid imagery that awakens the senses.

One of the book's notable strengths is the depth of wisdom present in the verses. Abu'l-Ala's musings on love delve far beyond the realms of superficial infatuation, uncovering the complexities and vulnerabilities of the human heart. Through his eloquent metaphors and introspective reflections, the poet invites readers to explore their own emotions and contemplate the true nature of connection.

Moreover, the social commentary embedded within the Diwan is both thought-provoking and timeless. Abu'l-Ala employs satire and irony to highlight the flaws and follies of society, exposing the hypocrisy often concealed beneath a veneer of righteousness. By critically examining the societal norms of his time, the author encourages readers to question their own beliefs and challenge the status quo.

Yet, the true essence of Abu'l-Ala's poetry lies in its spiritual underpinnings. The poet's quest for meaning and purpose is interwoven throughout the verses, as he grapples with the eternal questions of life's transience and the pursuit of inner peace. His contemplations on faith and mortality evoke a sense of introspection, inviting readers to reflect on their own spiritual journey.

Although the author remains anonymous, the translator deserves commendation for capturing the essence of Abu'l-Ala's work. The translation retains the lyrical quality of the original Arabic, rendering the verses accessible to those who do not possess proficiency in the language. The careful choice of wording and rhythm maintains the essence of Abu'l-Ala's poetry, allowing readers to vicariously experience the beauty and wisdom of his verses.

In conclusion, The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala is an enlightening collection of poetry that transcends time and place. Through its profound themes and masterful execution, the book offers valuable insights into the human condition and serves as a reminder of the enduring power of poetry. Despite the mystery surrounding the author's identity, the poems within this collection leave an indelible mark, reminding us of the profound impact of words on the human soul.

First Page:

The Wisdom of the East Series




Author of "In Pursuit of Dulcinea," "The Shade of the Balkans," "Yrivand," etc.

The stars have sunk from the celestial bowers, And in the garden have been turned to flowers. MUTAMID, in captivity .

Second Edition

LONDON: John Murray, 1909.



Now the book is finished, so far as I shall finish it. There is, my friend, but this one page to write. And, more than probably, this is the page of all the book that I shall never wish to blot. Increasing wisdom or, at any rate, experience will make me frown, I promise you, some time or other at a large proportion of the pages of this volume. But when I look upon your name I hear a troop of memories, and in their singing is my happiness.

When you receive this book, presuming that the Russian Censor does not shield you from it, I have some idea what you will do. The string, of course, must not be cut, and you will seriously set about the disentangling of it. One hand assists by holding up, now near the nose now farther off, your glasses; the other hand pecks at the string. After, say, twenty minutes there will enter the admirable Miss Fox oh! the tea she used to make for us when we were freezing on the mountains of Bulgaria, what time our Chicagoan millionaire was ruffled and Milyukov, the adventurous professor, standing now not far from Russia's helm, would always drive ahead of us and say, with princely gesture, that if we suffered from the dust it was advisable that he should be the one to meet the fury of the local lions... Continue reading book >>

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