Two Projects of Modernism in Arabic Poetry1

In: Journal of Arabic Literature
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The Free Verse poets and the ʿAbbāsid muḥdathūn (the modernizers of the eighth and ninth centuries) share a similar meta-poetic posture at the core of their modernizing projects. Both groups were aware of not only their role as initiators of change, but also their position vis-à-vis the poets who wrote before them. This paper examines these two modernizing experiences through the lens of metapoesis to reveal some of the critical and theoretical concerns that continue to haunt Arabic poets today.

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