He traveled through Mesopotamia, Syria, Arabia and Ethiopia. He was nicknamed Al-A'sha which means "weak-sighted" or "night-blind" after he lost his sight. He continued to travel even after becoming blind, particularly along the western coast of the Arabian peninsula. It was then that he turned to the writing of panegyrics as a means of support. His style, reliant on sound effects and full-bodied foreign words, tends to be artificial.
One of his qasidah or odes is sometimes included in the Mu'allaqat, an early Arabic poetry collection done by the critic Abu 'Ubaydah.
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