The Poetry of Ibn Khafājah

A Literary Analysis


This study is an attempt to identify and describe the distinctive features of the poetic style of the acclaimed medieval Andalusian poet Ibn Khafaājah, who has been credited with starting a new school of poetry, in Andalus and elsewhere.
It offers a close reading of his poetry, concentrating on the three basic elements of style — imagery, rhetorical devices, and structural patterns. It shows how Ibn Khafājah creatively uses the poetic tradition available to him to form new images and scenes, create multi-layered poems, and bestow different levels of unity and coherence on his poems.
The study demonstrates some of the ways by which the various elements of style are combined and interrelated, to produce original, meaningful, and highly moving poems in the Khafajian style.

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Magda M. Al-Nowaihi, Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard, 1988, is Lecturer in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.
' ...Magda al-Nowaihi hat auf dem Gebiet der klassischen arabischen Poesie einen bedeutenden Beitrag geleistet. Ihr Werk verdient bei allen Fachkollegen uneingeschränkte Beachtung.' Jaroslav Oliverius, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften, 1994. ' ...the study will certainly benefit readers of Ibn Khafāja as well as students seeking an illustrated technical introduction to the rhetoric of muḥdaṭ -poetry.' Michael Cooperson, Al-Arabiyya, 1995.
students and scholars of Arabic literature.