Monday, February 3, 2014

A stylistic analysis of Al-Mutanabbi's poem: واحر قلباه - My heart burns in English translation

Applying the principles of stylistic analysis on any piece of writing is a very powerful tool for tackling text of all kinds. There are times when we are lucky enough to have knowledge of the context in which any piece of writing was composed. In the case of the poem at hand,  واحر قلباه ممن قلبه شبم - 'My heart burns at he whose heart grows cold', it seems there is enough information about the poet, his epoch, and the circumstances that gave rise to the poem. It makes sense to use those to contextualize the whole poem, but deep scrutiny of the bricks and mortar of the text is what I have relied on, for the most part, to achieve a  provisional understanding of the poem. For the record, I have selected some 13 lines from the poem, which is otherwise much longer. I have crystallized my interpretation in the vodcast below, which I hope will serve as a stepping stone for a superior understanding. Thanks for watching. Ali H. Raddaoui.