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The Poetics of Islamic Legitimacy
Myth, Gender, and Ceremony in the Classical Arabic Ode
"... transcends the realm of literature and poetic criticism to include virtually every field of Arabic and Islamic studies." -- Roger Allen
Throughout the classical Arabic literary tradition, from its roots in pre-Islamic Arabia until the end of the Golden Age in the 10th century, the courtly ode, or qasida, dominated other poetic forms. In The Poetics of Islamic Legitimacy, Suzanne Stetkevych explores how this poetry relates to ceremony and political authority and how the classical Arabic ode encoded and promoted a myth and ideology of legitimate Arabo-Islamic rule. Beginning with praise poems to pre-Islamic Arab kings, Stetkevych takes up poetry in praise of the Prophet Mohammed and odes addressed to Arabo-Islamic rulers. She explores the rich tradition of Arabic praise poems in light of ancient Near Eastern rites and ceremonies, gender, and political culture. Stetkevych's superb English translations capture the immediacy and vitality of classical Arabic poetry while opening up a multifaceted literary tradition for readers everywhere.