This publication deals with the qasida, a poetic genre of Arabic origin which has become a major vehicle for the expression of societal and religious ideals in many languages of Asia and Africa. Volume One is a collection of papers by international specialists dealing with classical and modern qasida traditions that range from those in Arabic, Persian and Turkish in the Islamic heartland to languages further afield such as Urdu, Indonesian and Hausa. The papers focus upon selected poems which are published, together with an English translation, in Volume Two. This anthology contains fifty poems in fourteen languages dating from the seventh to the twentieth centuries. In their unprecedented scope, these volumes make a unique contribution to the comparative study of poetry and literary history in the Islamic world.
Stefan Sperl Ph.D. (London 1977), worked for UNHCR from 1978 to 1988 and now teaches Arabic literature and refugee studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London; his publications include
Mannerism in Arabic Poetry (Cambridge 1989).
Christopher Shackle Ph.D. (London 1972), FBA. is Professor of Modern Languages of South Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He has published extensively on South Asian languages and literatures, especially Urdu und Panjabi.
Few bibliographies of Islamic literature will (or should) now omit these two volumes from their listings.' Philip Kennedy,
Research in African Literatures, 1997. '
This is a truly unique and monumental work which is not likely to be superseded in a very long time...Although it is virtually impossible for a review to do justice to this outstanding and wide-ranging work, there is no doubt in the mind of this reviewer that its greatest distinction derives from the papers contained in it…The wide area that the book covers spatially and temporally makes it highly informative, for it is scarcely possible for any single person to cover as much terrain as the book does.' Wadād Kadi,
Journal of Islamic Studies, 1999.
All those interested in poetry, literary history, literary criticism, comparative literature and the literature, culture and religion of the entire Islamic world including the Jewish culture of al-Andalus, as well as Arabists and specialists in Persian, Turkish and other Islamic languages ranging from Hausa to Indonesian.