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Die sehnsüchtige Kamelin, die klagende Mutter, die leidenschaftliche Ḥubbā, der unglückliche ʿUrwa und der trauernde Jakob als Vergleichspersonen in der arabischen Liebesdichtung (I)

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Lovesickness is a standard topic in pre-modern Arabic love poetry. One of the devices Arabic poetry developed in order to express love sickness and longing for a beloved one was to compare one's own grief to the grief of well-known persons. The present study is devoted to these “persons of comparison” (“Vergleichspersonen”), as they will be called, in Arabic poetry, from ʿAmr b. Kulṯūms pre-Islamic Muʿallaqa to Ibn al-Fāriḍ's (d. 632/1235) famous mystical poem entitled the Greater Tāʾīya. In all, more than twenty poets will be dealt with. As for the persons of comparison, several subsequent types can be distinguished. The earliest persons of comparison are the she-camel that laments her lost calf and the mother who bewails her sons or her only son. While these two persons of comparison ceased to be used during the 1st century H, new persons of comparison came into vogue, first poets famous for their unhappy love such as ʿUrwa b. Ḥizām and later biblical persons such as Jacob weeping for the loss of Joseph. Other functions of persons of comparison, especially the biblical ones, shall also be touched upon.



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