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Volume :36 Issue : 144 2018      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Structure of the Journey in Jahili and Nabati Poetry: Mythical Elements (in Arabic).

Auther : Omar Alsaif

This research is an applied part of a project focused on using new methods for the understanding and interpretation of the Jahili (pre-Islamic) poetry. The proposed methodology is based on examining the literary, anthropological, and linguistic elements of the same geographic environments that produced the Jahili poetry, and understanding the oral traditions of these localities by describing them as cultural and social extensions of the pre-Islamic Arab society. The project endeavors to define the boundary of interpretation, and that can be called the probable possibility or the possible truth. Hence, it attempts to limit the possibilities of interpretations when reading poetry, and to avoid causes of semantic chaos in ancient literary pieces, a chaos caused by the reading of the texts from the outside of its creating environment. Thus, this research relies on the fact of the impossibility of isolating the Jahili poetry from the beliefs of the society which produced it. While for the most part these beliefs were extinguished by Islam, the analysis of contemporary oral literature in Najd and its environs, and the understanding of the prevailing cultural mentality shows that remnants of the ancient beliefs still persist in parts of the nomadic culture of Arabia. The analysis of the structure of the journey in contemporary folkloric Nabati poems shows that the rite of passage poems still retains the main parts of its ancient structure, and that it kept its “holy” part in the collective consciousness. Whether the feelings of ancient sanctities remained or were abolished, language has always resurrected the holy elements hinting that old sanctities never died as evidenced by the fact that the individual’s religiosity of the area did not change significantly. This research shows that the connection between the Jahili poetry and the present folkloric Nabati poetry is strong, and that the folkloric Nabati poetry and the oral tradition within the environments in the middle of Arabia is a socio-linguistic extension of the Jahili culture. These findings will help illuminate the meanings of the Jahili poems and help in interpreting them correctly and methodically. Key words: Jahili poetry; Nabati poetry, Oral heritage; The journey; mythology; she camel; Oryx leucoryx; Male ostrich.

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