The poetry of Ibn al-Rùmī
Early Arab writers have little to say about Ibn al-Rùm and his poetry. His life and his poetry are, indeed, different from early Arabic poets and poetry in general. Those who have written on Ibn al-Rùm have covered neither the whole of his life nor the whole of his works. There are, consequently, in my opinion, many aspects of his life and poetry which need to be studied. I have approached Ibn al-Rùm's life through his poetry and have used this as my primary source, attempting to see the relevance of his poetry to his life and hopefully, the relevance of his life to his poetry. I have not devoted a separate chapter to the period during which Ibn al-Rùm lived and wrote; I have attempted to study this period through Ibn al-Rùm's poetry and life. This thesis consists of an Abstract, a short introductory notice, three chapters and a brief summation. My main concern has been to translate the poetry into English and to assist it to speak in its own voice, adding notes and comments only when strictly necessary. In the first chapter (one) Ibn al-Rùm's ancestry, education and emotionally fraught life are studied, as well as his relationship with Caliphs and princes, his intellectual and physical malaise, his effeminacy and the milieu in which he lived. In chapter two; I study Istiqsa' before Ibn al-Rùm and his poetry Tashkis, his quotations from al-Qur'an and from the Jahli and 'Abbasid poetry. His relationship with the other poets of his period and the role played by the realm of the senses in his Dwan. Chapter three is a study of the genres: panegyrics, lampoons, elegies and love poetry. The work ends with a short summary of the principal findings of this study of Ibn al-Rùm through his poetry.