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September 28, 2011 / trash

Abū al-Qāsim al-Shābī

Abū al-Qāsim al-Shābī ( أبو القاسم الشابي )  b.1909-d.1934

An outstanding contributor to the ‘Apollo Society’ outside of Egypt. Unfortunately, the talented Tunisian poet died at a very young age of heart disease  before he was able to publish his single volume of works, ‘Songs of Life’ (Aghānī ‘l ḥayāh). Where al-Shābī fell short in quantity he made up in quality, his works are known to be the climax in the romantic poetry of the Arab world. Major themes in his poetry revolved around nature, existence, human suffering in life, his questions about death, and most importantly, rebirth and redemption after life and death. This final theme is prevalent in his poetry as his medical condition became especially severe. Poems such as ‘Sad Evening’ and ‘In the Gloom’ were followed by ‘New Morning’. It is in this transition that we see al-Shābī overcoming the fear of death and truly embracing the idea of victory and renewal that comes after.

From behind the clouds and the surge of the waters

I am called by the Morning and the Spring of life…

Farewell! Farewell! Oh mountains of trouble.

Oh mists of grief. Oh valleys of hell.

– Abū al-Qāsim al-Shābī, Aghānī ‘l-ḥayāh, ‘ al-Ṣabāḥ al-jadīd


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  1. rzwehbe / Sep 27 2011 10:05 pm

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