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Humorizing the Love Theme in an Early Islamic Poem
main premise of this presentation is that the long poem by early Islamic poet Ḥumayd b. Thawr al-Hilālī (d. ca. 68-70/688-690) has a dual function. One is expressive and poetic — striving for elegant and affective verses mainly related to love. The other is humoristic, and attempts to amuse. The poem’s humour appears predominantly in the passages describing a corpulent bride, and the failure of two go-betweens to set up a meeting between lovers, with the narration of multiple love affairs further contributing to its comedy. In this presentation, I will shed light on the use and techniques of humour in classical Arabic love poetry, a topic neglected in modern research. We do not have many examples of poems from the pre-Islamic and early Islamic period in which humor plays a significant role, but this presentation argues that one of the rare early Islamic poems which combine both love and humor is this mīmiyya by Ḥumayd b. Thawr. The presentation sheds light on the humoristic passages in this poem.
Geographic Area
Arabian Peninsula
Sub Area
7th-13th Centuries