Like Joseph in Beauty

Yemeni Vernacular Poetry and Arab-Jewish Symbiosis


Like Joseph in Beauty traces the evolution of an Arabic poetic form called ‘Humayni poetry’. From Muslim mystical circles, the courts of aristocrats in Highland Yemen, and kabbalist circles of Yemenite Jews, Humayni poetry distinguishes itself with lyricism, musicality, and eroticism. It also plays a variety of code-switching linguistic games. The book addresses the connections between the Humayni poetry of Yemen and the sacred poetry of Jews from Yemen, a hitherto-neglected chapter in the history of Arabic and Jewish literatures. The book culminates with a discussion of ways in which poets and critics in modern-day Yemen and in Israel transformed this poetry.

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Mark S. Wagner Ph.D. (2004) in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University, is Assistant Professor of Arabic at Louisiana State University. He has published numerous articles on Arabic and Jewish literatures and Islamic law.
Those interested in Arabic literature, Jewish literature, Islamic studies, and Jewish studies.
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