Ibn Khafaja

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'Ibn Khafajah (إبن خفاجة) 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: جزيرة شقر) near Valencia where he spent most of his life.[1]

He developed nature poetry to a great level of sophistication.[2] 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 after the Conquest of Valencia in 1109.[3] During the occupation of the surroundings of Valencia by the Spaniards (ca. 1100) Ibn Khafaja had fled the city to North Africa.[3] He remained umarried but had many frien[3] He lived to be over eighty.[1]

According to Salma 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."[2]

Composer Mohammed Fairouz set three poems of Ibn Khafajah to music in a cycle of vocal chamber music written for the Cygnus Ensemble.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Samuel G. Armistead, E. Michael Gerli (ed.), Medieval Iberia, an Encyclopedia, 2003, entry "Ibn Khafaja"
  2. ^ a b 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
  3. ^ a b c 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
  4. ^ Moore, Thomas (September 12, 2010), Mohammed Fairouz: An Interview, Opera Today, retrieved 2011-04-19

Bibliography[edit]

  • Arthur Wormhoudt (ed.), The Diwan of Abu Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Abu Al-Fath Ibn Khafaja, Oskaloosa, Ia.: William Penn College, 1987, ISBN 978-0-916358-39-6
  • 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 90-420-0105-4 (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 978-90-04-09660-8
  • 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

External links[edit]

  • The Mountain Poem English translation and Arabic recording of Ibn Khafaja's most famous poem at Poems Found in Translation.