Trends and developments in the poetic language of Bilād al-Shām, 1967 -1987
This study examines the development of poetic language in modem Arabic poetry through discussion of a selection of twelve poems from Bilād al-Shām (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine), applying a method of analysis and evaluation based on a close study of the text itself rather than on critical sources. A practical method of analysis is used to examine elements of poetic language, namely rhythm, theme and structure, the poet's voice, word-association, metaphor and symbol, all of which form the text. The study is introduced by a brief review of the development of modem Arabic poetry, of previous studies of poetic language in modem Arabic poetry, and an analysis of the poetic language in four outstanding poems of the post-second world war period. The four poems were chosen since they are typical of die changes, renewal or departure from classical poetic language. These poems embody new forms in both expression and ideas, and express the Arab identity by discussing Arab social and political problems. The four poems may not be the best poems of their time but each one clearly exhibits a different use of elements of poetic language current at the time. These poems, which are written before and during 1967, are still effective and influential today. Their poetic language is still the criterion by which to examine and compare the twelve selected poems in part two. The poems were chosen from those composed in Bilād al-Shām after the events of 1967. This choice was made to enable die writer to investigate die effect of the war upon poetry, to illustrate pan-Arabism and nationalism, and to examine the poetic language in these poems. In both part one and part two my concern is to present facts rather than arguments. My intention is also to make a brief comparison and conclusion. These conclusions - drawn from the discussion - are found in part three. This study deals with the following: the identification of common factors and differences in the poems discussed; the existence, or lack, of creative trends in the use of language; the degree of influence of the four poems upon the twelve selected poems; and whether die twelve poems imitate ideas, concepts, words and symbols derived from the four poems. It also traces the development of poetic language as it approaches the prose style and as it establishes a different use of metaphors and symbols.