Case of Rhyme versus Reason: Ibn al-Rumi and His Poetics in Context

The poetry of the extremely prolific and versatile 'Abbasid poet Ibn al-Rumi is examined in this book. Part 1, The Poet, reconstructs the poet's life and times providing the background for Part II, The Poetry, which traces the influences in Ibn al-Rumi's distinctive poetic style and themes. This provides a glimpse into a rather fluid period in Arabic literary history when the boundary between poetry and prose was becoming increasingly permeable, due to the emergence of the so-called secretary-poets, and to the prevalence and importance of the munazarah, or disputation. Part III, The Poem, analyzes the poet's celebrated 282-line poem commemorating the quashing of the Zanj rebellion. The towering architectonics and sophisticated organization of this poem provide an ideal opportunity to explore Ibn al-Rumi's poetic contribution.