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Poetry and Prose Lecture with Professor Kevin Blankinship – Dust’s Embrace: Al-Ma’arri and the Art of Dying in Classical Arabic

Date & Time

April 3, 2019
8:00 am - 5:00 pm



About the Event

On 3 April, SQCC hosted its first poetry presentation in the Poetry and Prose Series of 2019. Our honored guest of the evening was Dr. Kevin Blankinship, Assistant Professor of Arabic at Brigham Young University, where he teaches Arabic language and literature. A specialist in classical Arabic literature, his current book project is about the blind poet Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (b. 973 – d.1057) and the literary history of zuhd (“detachment’).

Dr. Blankinship’s presentation analyzed poetic forms in al-Maʿarrī’s Luzūmīyāt (“Necessities”), referring to the collection of poetry’s overly complex rhyme scheme. In the presented poem, Luzūmiyyah #55 (meter: wāfir – mufāʿalatun mufāʿalatun faʿūlun), Dr. Blankinship showed that al-Maʿarrī reminds readers of the great inevitable: everything in this world passes away. After the presentation, Dr. Blankinship mingled with the crowd over Omani coffee and dates.

Video of the lecture can be viewed here.