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Ibn Khafaja(h) or Abu Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Abu Al-Fath Ibn Khafajah (1058-1138/9) of Alzira was one of the most famous poets of Al-Andalus during the reign of the Almoravids[1]. He was born in 1058 in Alzira (Arabic: Jazirat Shuqr) near Valencia where he spent most of his life.[2]

He developed nature poetry to a great level of sophistication.[3] His poetry includes a few panegyrics, e.g. to Yusuf ibn Tashfin whom he praised out of thankfulness that he had saved Al-Andalus from chaos by retaking the region of Valencia from the Spaniards in 1109.[4] During the occupation of the surroundings of Valencia by the Spaniards (ca. 1100) Ibn Khafaja had fled the city to North Africa.[5] He remained umarried but had many friends.[6] At the age of 64 he collected his poems and wrote introductions to them.[7] He lived to be over eighty[8].

According to Khadra Jayyusi, Khafaja demonstrates, in some of his poems a revolutionary attitude to language, using a vocabulary of great originality, which she describes as "warm and sensuous, obsessed with human intimacy, turbulent and conscious of the violence of life around him in a war-ridden country, awed by nature and eternally mystified both by its beauty and by its permanence vis-avis human mutability."[9]

Notes

  1. ^ Samuel G. Armistead, E. Michael Gerli (ed.), Medieval Iberia, an Encyclopedia, 2003, entry "Ibn Khafaja"
  2. ^ ibid.
  3. ^ Salma Khadra Jayyusi, "Nature poetry and the rise of Ibn Khafaja," in: Salma Khadra Jayyusi (ed.), The legacy of Muslim Spain, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994, p. 381
  4. ^ Arie Schippers "Ibn Khafaja (1058-1139) in Morocco. Analysis of a laudatory poem addressed to a member of the Almoravid clan," in: Otto Zwartjes e.a. (ed.) Poetry, Politics and Polemics: Cultural Transfer Between the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996, p. 14
  5. ^ ibid.
  6. ^ Ibid.
  7. ^ ibid.
  8. ^ Samuel G. Armistead, E. Michael Gerli (ed.), Medieval Iberia, an Encyclopedia, 2003, entry ""Ibn Khafaja"
  9. ^ Salma Khadra Jayyusi, "Nature poetry and the rise of Ibn Khafaja," in: Salma Khadra Jayyusi (ed.), The legacy of Muslim Spain, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994, p. 381

Bibliography

  • Arthur Wormhoudt (ed.), The Diwan of Abu Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Abu Al-Fath Ibn Khafaja, Oskaloosa, Ia.: William Penn College, 1987, ISBN 9780916358396
  • Arie Schippers "Ibn Khafaja (1058-1139) in Morocco. Analysis of a laudatory poem addressed to a member of the Almoravid clan," in: Otto Zwartjes e.a. (ed.) Poetry, Politics and Polemics: Cultural Transfer Between the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996, ISBN 9042001054 (pp. 13–34)
  • Magda M. Al-Nowaihi, The Poetry of Ibn Khafajah A Literary Analysis, (Rev. version of the author's thesis, Harvard, 1987), Leiden: Brill, 1993 ISBN 978-9004096608
  • Burgel, J. C., "Man, Nature and Cosmos as Intertwining Elements in the Poetry of Ibn Khafāja," in: Journal of Arabic literature; vol. 14, 1983 (p. 31)
  • Hamdane Hadjadji and André Miquel, Ibn Khafaja l’Andalou, L’amant de la nature, Paris: El-Ouns, 2002
  • Abd al-Rahman Janair, Ibn Khafaja l-Andalusi, Beirut: Dar al-Afaq, 1980

See also

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