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The Road to Self-Revival

Sufism, Heritage, Intertextuality and Meta-Poetry in Modern Arabic Poetry

Jamal Assadi and Mahmud Na'amneh

With the rise of the various intellectual streams in the Western world in the second half of the twentieth century, modern Arab poets recognized the need to promote the Arabic poem. They knew that the road of self exploration and promotion begins in the ancestral legacy. The Road to Self-Revival explores the tendency of modern Arabic poetry to summon Sufi figures, thinking, philosophy, terms, attitudes and practices. Specifically, this volume focuses on the poetry of four Arab modernists: Abdul Wahab al-Bayyati (1926-1999), Ali Ahmad Said known as Adonis (1930-), Salah Abdu-s-Sabur (1931-1981) and Mahmud Darwish (1941-2008). The book traces a number of Sufi figures in the poetry of these poets: Bishr ibnul-Ḥārith Al-Ḥāfī (767-840), Al-Ḥusain Ben Mansūr Al-Ḥallāj (858-922), Farīd ed-Dīn Al-‘Aṭṭār (1145/46-1221), Muḥyī ed-Dīn bnul-‘Arabī (1165-1240) and Jalāl ad-Dīn Moḥammad Rūmī (1207-1273).