Semantic and Lexical Embellishments in the Talasim of Iliya Abu Madi

May 26, 2016 | Author: Tajudeen Adebayo | Category: Types, School Work
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The paper is an exposition of Talasim of Iliya Abu Madi in the light of Arabic Rhetoric....


Semantic and Lexical embellishments in the Ţalāsim of Īliya Abū Mādī By Tajudeen Adebayo Voice of Nigeria, Ikoyi, Lagos Email: [email protected]

The drive for modernization of Arabic literature started in Egypt and Syria early in the nineteenth century and gradually spread to the rest of the Arab world1. Consequently, a new reading public and a new conception of literature emerged. Literary writers began to reflect and indeed change social and political reality, instead of merely displaying their verbal skills. Such movement was expanded by the émigré litterateurs who travelled from Lebanon and Syria to the Western World and became influenced by the leading ideologies in the United States and Europe. Prominent among such groups were the members of ar-Rābitatul alQalamiyyah (the Pen League) which was formed in the New York in April 1920 2. The Pen League was known for its liberalization of Arabic literature from the shackles of the ancient period such as poetry metres3, themes,4 ideology and styles5. Īliya Abū Mādī, whose work known as Ţalāsim forms the nucleus of this study, was not present at the inaugural meeting of the Pen League6, but he was, by popular opinion, known as the chief of poetry in the émigré literature7. The works of members of the Pen League were characterised with the premium placed on philosophical value rather than the lexical and rhetorical values of a literary work. Despite that, their works could not be said to have turned its attention completely away from lexical components, hence this study which seeks to x-ray the semantic and lexical embellishments that were brought to play in the Ţalāsim of Īliya Abū Mādī. The introduction of rhetorical discipline known as ‛lmu al-Badi‛ by Abd‟Allah Bin Mu‛taz (d.286 A.H) culminated the efforts of the Arab Rhetoricians during the 3rd Hijrah century8. However, the task of final systematization of the three branches9 of Arabic rhetoric was completed by as-Sakkākī (d. 626/1229) 10. Al-Badī‛ is a branch of balāgha which should not be overused lest the ornamenting value depreciates11. It is divided into two parts: muhassinātu „lafziyyah (Lexical beautifiers) and muḥassinātu ma‛nawiyyah (semantic beautifiers) even though this classification does not go down well with some modern day scholars of Balāghah who argue that lexeme cannot be independent of the semantics12. This present work seeks to beam its search light on both the semantic and lexical embellishments contained in the Ţalāsim. One of the key factors that facilitated the uniqueness of the émigré literature is the effect of migration on their works. Migration, otherwise known in Arabic as Hijrah, is an age long social culture of all animals such as birds, fishes and all vertebrates. ‛Abbas Mahmud „Aqqād dedicated a chapter in his book titled: ārāun fi ādāb wa ′l-funūn‟ to Hijrah13. Man is not left out of migration, almost all the prophets of Allah had causes to migrate from one place to another for various reasons. Such reasons may include, but not limited to, economic, political,

and social reasons. In the case of émigré litterateurs, the political and religious instability in Syrian and Lebanon occasioned by the incursion of Ottoman Turks, and Europeans led many vibrant youth to seek succour abroad starting from late Nineteen century. The evangelistic missions, capitalising on the poverty in the land, encouraged most of the Youth to try their lucks in the New World. In addition to that, Īliya Abū Mādī added the visit of Brazilian Emperor to Palestine and Lebanon in 1977/98 during which he spread the news of a prosperous life in the West to the reasons for mass exodus of the Lebanese Youth to the New World14. They are majorly divided into Northern Emigrants to United State of America and Southern emigrants, specifically to Brazil15. Al-Khafāji was of the opinion that the political and economical unrest were only catalyst to the migration of Lebanese and Syrians to the New World as it had been noticed in their culture that they always travel abroad in search of economic fortune wherever it may be16. In the New World, several Associations were formed by the migrant Syrians and Lebanese with a view to forming formidable fronts that can influence the political and economic decisions in their home country. Prominent among such associations was the Syrian American Federation, which was formed in 1924 from two other associations17. Literary blocs were also formed; ′al-„Usbatul ′al-andalusiyyah was formed in Brazil while arrābitatul al-Qalamiyyah was formed in New York18. There are two sides to the pros and cons of migration. Writers like Augustus Adīb Basha in his book titled: „Lubnān ba‟da al- ḥarb‟ (Lebanon after the war) and Muhammad Kard in his book titled: „Garāib al-Gharb‟ (Peculiarities of the West) were of the opinions that the migration was a curse on agricultural, industrial and socio-political lives of Lebanon. In the view of Nādirat, such writers seems to have trivialised the gains of the migration in terms of economic developments and collaborations between the Lebanon and the New World which culminated in formation of projects like Lebanese Migrant Bank and several mighty buildings built by the migrants. Abū Mādī was perhaps the most prolific poet of the Pen League considering the number of collections he published and his fame in poem composition. He had been known for his poetry talents even before he joined the League. Abū Mādī was born in a village called alMuḥayditha in Lebanon. The exact year of his birth was a bit problematic because he was quite ungenerous with information about his background, but majority of researchers were of the opinion that he was born around 1889. He did not have access to formal education except the elementary aspect of it while he was in the village19. With this, he differed from his „émigré‟ contemporaries who enjoyed a systematic education under the Catholic Missionaries. This may be the reason why he developed to be a free thinker in his later years. Sometimes, he satirized the monks in the monastery, even though he was known as a Christian. It is as a result of this that Gibrān and Mikhāil did not consider Īliya as their metaphysical comrade20 though they respect his powerful sense of imagination and poetical talents. As a Lebanese, Abū Mādī left his native land in search of greener pasture in 1900 for Alexandria, Egypt where he worked as a tobacco merchant with Abū Ilyās. He later worked in his uncle‟s shop at Atarin Quarters. In 1909, he established his own shop, after the demise of his uncle. It is highly significant to mention here, how Abū Mādī‟s stay in Alexandria

influenced his literary career. Muhammed Qurh, reported in his article published in (AlHayāt) magazine that Abū Mādī in response to a question thrown to him said: “In Alexandria, I used to sell tobacco during the day in my uncle‟s shop. In the evening I used to learn Arabic grammar and morphology by myself and sometimes in some local Arabic school21. This aspect of self-learning is very significant in Abū Mādi‟s biography. For this reason, Alexandria is regarded as his training ground. In addition to this, he was very conversant with magazines and newspapers. He hardly parted with the Dīwān of the leading poets of that period especially those who championed the call for revival of Arabic poetry from its slumber. These included Mahmud Sami Al-Bārūdī, Ahmed Shawqi and Hafiz Ibrahim. With this attitude, he developed strong interest in poetical composition by means of emulation. More importantly before he left Alexandria after eleven years, he had been able to compose and publish his first Dīwān entitled Tidhkār al-mādī (Memory of the past). In this Dīwān, Abū Mādī followed strictly the traditional prosodic and grammatical rules. The poems therein also showed signs of originality, though they were very brief and could be regarded as unexciting22. In the preface to the Dīwān, he expressed his regards to Egypt, his training ground. Abū Mādī migrated from Egypt in the year 1912. He stopped over in his native land in order to display his patriotism. He was in the fore-front of the agitating masses who were seeking better condition. Expectedly, the government did not welcome this gesture. He had to leave this country after few months for the New World. Firstly, he stayed at Cincinnati in Ohio State where he spent four years. He was engaged with his brother Mur‟ad in business.23 though, George Saydah considered this year as a break in the literary career of Abū Mādī , but Abū Mādī , in his interview with Muhammed Qurh said: the business did not affect his poetical talents but it however, boosted it in a strange manner. Another remarkable thing about his stay in Ohio is the transformation witnessed by his poetry from emulation, which characterized his first Dīwān and took a new dimension. It was then he composed some fine poems such as: ′Ibnatu –l-Fajr, (Daughter of the dawn), Falsafat-lHayāt, (philosophy of life) and fi-l-layl (in the Night). With this transformation, he was able to meet up with the standard of his comrades in U.S.A. and even surpassed them. In 1916, Abū Mādī moved to New York on invitation sent to him by a set of Palestinian youths. They requested him to be an editor for their Magazine titled al-Majillatu al- ‛rabiyyah (the Arabic Magazine). Abū Mādī summarized his journalistic career in the following lines: I moved to New York in 1916, when I received an invitation from some Palestinian youths requesting me to edit their magazine titled: Al-Majillatul Arabiyyah, (The Arabic magazine)… it was no long before I contributed my quota in the edition of alfata‟t which was been published by our friend, Shukri, al-Bakhash, now the owner of a sister magazine called Zuhlatul-l-Fata‟t in 1918, I crossed to another newsletter “Mir‟atu – l- Garb” (Mirror of the west). It was in 1923 that I left this paper and I later established As-Samir in April 1929. It was being published fortnightly, but in 1936; I changed it to a daily paper”.24

Without tear, this extract has explicitly depicted the journalistic carer of Abū Mādī. His newsletter; As-Samir continued to be in circulation until Abū Mādī‟s demise. In addition to journalism, Abū Mādī composed and published three volume of Dīwān in New York. The first one was entitled: Dīwān Iliya Abū Mādī (2nd volume). This volume served as a compilation of those nationalistic poems that he couldn‟t publish in Egypt. Hence, this could be considered the second volume of his 1st Dīwān; Tidhkār I Mādī. The preface to this Dīwān was written by Gibrān Khalīl Gibrān who commended the poetical originality of Abū Mādī. He has sanitized his poetry from imitation and displayed his creativity. It is in this Dīwān that he enclosed his popular poem titled: Falsafat -l- Hayāt (The philosophy of life). Furthermore he published another Dīwān in 1928 titled: al-khamā‟il (the thicket). This happened to be the last compilation he could publish before he died. Though, he still composed many poems which were later compiled and published posthumously by his association under the title Tibrun wa turāb (gold and dust). These two collections contained the most romantic poems of Abū Mādī‟s works. They have many features in common to the extent that some critics considered the fifth volume as an extension of the fourth volume. Ţalāsim is contained in the in the poem collection titled: al-Jadāwil. It contains seventy one stanzas with each stanza comprising of four lines each. It is a compendium of puzzles composed in the existentialist format. The semantic beautifiers (muhassinātu ma‛nawiyyah) displayed in the work consist of the following: Ţibāq (antithesis), Muqābala (multiple antithesis), apostrophe, epistrophe, epistrope, epizeuxis, Tashkhīs (personification), ′uslūb alhakīm (scholastic approach), al-′irdāf al-khalfī (oxymoron) among others. Semantic embellishments Ţibāq (antithesis) is a form of semantic embellishment that brings two antonyms together with or without the use of negative item25. It is known as Ţibāq‛ ījābī (non-negated antithesis) when the negative item is not employed, but the negative item such as non/anti are used it is known as Ţibāq salbī (negated antithesis). Examples of non negated antithesis are in the following extracts of the Ţalāsim: Wasa abqī sāiran in shi‟tu hādha am abaetu I must go on whether I will or disagree, A jadīdun am qadīmun ana fi ādha al-wujūd Am I a new being in this existence or old? A şawābun mā za„amnā am ḑalālun lastu ′adrī Are our assumptions right or wrong? I don‟t know Qad jama‟ta ′al-mawta fī şodrika wal „aesha ′al-jamīlan You gather in yourself a death and a beautiful life

Laeta sh‟rī ′anta mahdun am ḑarīhun I wish I knew whether you are a cradle or a grave ′Al-ghadu ′al-majhūlu wal-′amsi ′al-ladhāni iktanafāka The unknown tomorrow and yesterday that surrounded him Lā tasalnī mā gadun mā amsi innī lastu adrī Don‟t ask me, about tomorrow or yesterday for: I don‟t know Lam ajid fi al-qaşri shaehan laesa fi al-kūkhi ′al-mahīn I„ve never found in the palace something missing in a despised hut Wa sajīnu al-khālidaeni al-lael waş-Şubuh al-mubīn A prisoner of the two eternal; the night and the bright day Innanī arjū wa ′akhshā innanī ′arḑā wa ′aghḑab I still hope, fear, pleased and provoked A tarāhu bāriqan ′aomaḑa hīnan wa tawārah Is it like a ghost that appears briefly in a well and melted away, Wa arā dhātiya shaeţānan wa ′ahyānan milāka I see myself a devil and sometimes an angel, Kaefa şāra al-qalbu raoḑan thumma qaf′ran lastu adrī How the heart did turns to a garden or a desert? I don‟t know ′Aena ḑahkī wa bukā′ī wa anā ţiflun şagīrun Where are my infant laughter and weeping? Am anā ‛inda gurūbi sh-Shamsi gaerī fi ′al-bukūrī Or my personality at the sunset, is different from that of the morning Mā ladhī ḥabbabahu ‛indī wa mā bagh-ghaḑanīhi

What had endeared it to me, what had made me hate it, Lā tuţīqu ′al-arḑu tukhfī shawqaha ′ao zahraha The earth is unable to conceal its thorns or flowers, Wa tulū‛ ash-shamsi yur′jā mithlamā yur′jā ′al-ghurūb The sunset is hoped for as we hope for the sunrise. Wa raeta ′ash-sharra mithla ′al-khaeri yamḑi wa ya′ūb I‟ve seen badness like goodness goes away and comes back, Innanī ji′tu wa ′amḑī wa anā lā a‛lamu Indeed I came, I am going yet I didn‟t knew, Ana lughzun wa dhahābī ka majī‟i ţalsamun26 I am a mystery; my arrival is a puzzle like my departure, The underlined words in each of the sentences above contain words and opposite thereby giving the sentences some kind of beauty and at the same time laying emphasis on the intended meaning. Ţibāq salbī (negated antithesis) is a form of semantic embellishment that brings two antonyms that negate each other. Hal ra′t′hu qabla nafsī ghaeru nafsī? Lastu adrī Had it been seen by another mind beside mine? “I don‟t know”?

In the underlined words, the two words nafsī was negated with the use of ghaer which means non. This is the only example of Ţibāq salbī (negated antithesis) found in the Ţalāsim. Muqābala (multiple antithesis)- This semantic embellishment is another form of antithesis which consists of two or more words with opposite meanings occurring respectively. Some scholars of Balāghah consider Muqābala as just another type of antithesis.27 Multiple antithesis could be seen in the following extracts from the Ţalāsim: Hal anā hurun ţalīqun am ′asīrun fī quyūd Am I a freeman or a bond slave? ′Innamā ′anta bilā ẓillin walī fi ′al-′ardi ẓillun

It‟s only that you are shadow less but I have my own shadow, ′Innamā ′anta bilā ‛aqlin walī yā baḥru ‛aqlun It‟s only that you are without brain, but I have brain, Walidhā ′azdadtu bu‛dan kullamā ′azdadtu ′q′tirāban That is why I move farther whenever I tried to move nearer Fa ḥayātun fa khulūdun, am fanā′un fa duthūr28 Then comes an eternal life or ruin and destruction. The underlined words in the above extracts contained multiple antitheses which aim at establishing the intended meaning without mixing it with other issues. Apostrophe is a form of semantic embellishment and a type of personification whereby communication was addressed to a non-human object that cannot respond or even hear the speech29. It creates an unreal speech situation and the object addressed is made to share human ability of responding to the message. Apostrophe usually occurs with the use of a vocative particle as contained in the following extracts of the Ţalāsim. Ayuhal-baḥru ′atadrī kam maḑat ′alfun ′alaeka Oh you river do you know how many thousand (of year) that had passed you? ′Anta yā bahru ′asīrun āhu mā a‛ẓama ′as′ruk Oh you river, you are a slave like me, how strong is your own slavery? Inna fi şadri yā bahru la ′asrāran ‛ijāban Oh you river there are wonderful secrets in my mind Innanī yā baḥru baḥrun shāţihāhu shāţiāka I am indeed, Oh River! A river which has two sides like yours Ayyuhal qabru takallam wakh birīnī yā rimām Oh you grave, talk!! Oh you rotten (bones) inform me, Sāili l-faj‟ra ‛a‛inda alfaj‟ri tīnun wa rukhām Ask the dawn: Does it have clay and marble? Was′ali ′alqaşra ′alā yukhfīhi kal kūkhi aẓ-ẓalām

Ask the palace: Does it not been covered with darkness like the hut? Was‟ali li ′anjuma war-rīh was ′ali şaoba ′al-ghamām Also, ask the stars; the wind, likewise the rainfall Atarā ash-shaea kamā nahnu narāhu? Lastu adri 30 Do you see things the way we see it? “I don‟t know”? In the above quoted lines of poem, the poet addressed several in-animate objects such as ocean, grave, dawn, castle and stars asking them questions like human beings. He was not expecting them to answer because they are non human beings. Personification: (Tashkhīs) is closely related to apostrophe except that it does not involve addressing the object. The characteristics of human entity such as listening, laughing and talking are rather transferred to an inhuman or abstract entity31 as contained in the following extracts of the Ţalāsim: Qad sa′ltu al-Baḥra yaoman hal anā yā baḥru minka? I once asked the river that: am I really (created) from you? Ḍaḥikati amwājuhu minnī, waqālat lastu′ adrī Its waves laughed at me and said: 'I don‟t know”? Mal ladhī al-amwāju qālat ḥīna thārat lastu ′adrī What did the waves say when it swirl? “I don‟t know”? Qad sa′ltu as-suhba fi l ′afāqi hal tadhkuru ramlak I once asked the cloud: do you remember your sand? Wa sa′ltu ash-Shajar al-mu′riq hal ya„rifu faḑlak I also asked the leafy tree that did it appreciates your kindness? Wa sa‟ltu ad-Ḍurra fil al-ā„nāq hal tadhkur ′aşlak I likewise asked the necklace: do you remember your source? Ka ′anni khiltuha qālat jamī‛an: lastu ′adrī As if I imagined them saying jointly: “I don‟t know”? Thuma qālat: ayuha as-sāilu ′innī lastu ′adrī32

And it said (imaginarily): Oh you questioner “I don‟t know”? In the above quoted extracts, the inanimate objects were conferred with human characteristics of listening, laughing and talking even though the poet knew that they cannot do any of such. The poet took the communication to the next level by placing a response in the imaginary mouth of assumption that the silence of those objects implies that they were saying: we don‟t know. Epistrophe: This semantic embellishment has to do with repetition of the same word or expression at the end of a sentence33. The Poet, Īliya Abū Mādī employs the epistrophe in the Ţalāsim as he repeated the expression „Lastu ′adrī‟ (I don‟t know) seventy-one times at the end of every stanza of the Ţalāsim. Epistrophe is mainly for affirmation. Epizeuxis: Closely related to epistrophe is epizeuxis except that the repetition of a word and expression which is meant for affirmation can appear at any position in the sentence unlike epistrophe which has to be at the end of the sentence34. Examples of epizeuxis featured in the following extracts of the poem under review: Wa ţarīqi mā ţarīqi? A ţawīlun am qaşir? My way, what is my way? Is it long or short? ′Anta jānin ayyu jāni qātilun fī ghaer thār You are a criminal, what a criminal!! Who kills, not in blood revenge? Qad raetu ash-Shuhba lā tadrī limādha tashruq I had seen that the shooting stars are not aware of why they illuminate, Wa raetu as-suḥba lā tadri limādha tag‟diqu And I saw the cloud; also do not understand why they pour down (rain) Wa raetu al-ghāba lā tadrī limādha tu′riqu Likewise, I saw the forest do not know why it put forth leaves, Fa limādha kulluha fil Jahli mithlī? Lastu ′adrī Why are they all like me in ignorance? “I don‟t know”? A tarāni kuntu yaoman nagaman fī watrin Would you say I was once a tune of a string? Am tarāni kuntu qablan maojatan fi naḥrin

Or would you say I was a wave of a river, Am tarāni kuntu fi ihda an-Nujūmi az-zuhri Or would you say I was among the shooting stars, Kam kiyānin qad talāsha fī kiyānī wa s‟taḥāl How many being has vanished in my being and transformed? Kam kiyānin fihi shaehun min kiyānī? Lastu ′adrī35 How many beings have also taken something from my being? “I don‟t know”? Most of the examples given above for epizeuxis were considered as components of stanzas rather that just lines of a poem. The phrases like lā tadrī limādhā (dont understand why) was repeated four times in a stanza, lines Chiasmus: This semantic embellishment is a technique used in writing or speech in which words or ideas are repeated in reverse order36 as featured in the following extract from the work under review: Liya īmānun wa lākin lā ka īmānī wa nusukī I have faith but unlike my previous faith and worship ′Innanī ′abkī wa lākin lā kamā qad kuntu ′abkī37 I still weep, but unlike my past weeping, In the above quotes, the poet claimed to still retain his faith and weeping but quickly explained in the adjunct propositions that it is unlike his previous faith and mode of weeping. The second proposition reversed the first one mainly for elucidation. Oxymoron: In this kind of semantic embellishment, two antonyms are placed next to each other38. This style of writing, which is referred to in Arabic as „al-irdaf al-khalfi‟, add colour to writing as featured in the following extracts: Wa talāshā fī baqāya ′al-‛abdi robbu as-sūlijān The remains of a slave and that of a staff owner vanished together Wal taqa l ‛āshiqu wal qālī famā yaftariqān39

The lover and the loathed meet where they would never depart The slave, in the first line is the opposite of a chief who was referred to as a staff owner while the lover and the loathed are also another antonyms found in the same sentence. Scholastic Approach: (Uslūb ′al-ḥakīm): this mode is known as dialectical mannerism and is related to argumentation and debate40. It is common in argumentation and scholastic speech in which the communicator attempts to provide substantial cognitive evidence to prove his position and rebuff the opponent‟s viewpoint as exemplified in the following extracts of the work under review: Qad ′akalnāka wa qulna qad akalna ath-thamara It is you we eat while we claim to eat fruits Wa sharibnāka wa qulna qad sharibna al-maţara It‟s you we drink while we claim to drink rainwater, Mā anā a‛mā fa hal ghaeriya a„mā, lastu ′adrī I am not blind, should others be blind? I don‟t know Qīla ′adra an-nāsi bil ′asrāri sukkānu aş-şawāmi‛ It is said that: The residents of the monastery are more knowledgeable about the secrets. Qultu: ′in şaha ′aladhī qālu fa′inna sirra shāi‛u I replied: If that is true, then the secret is known. ‛Ajaban kaefa tara ash-shamsa „uyūnun fi barāqi‛ How strange: how can the veiled eyes see the sun, Wal latī lam tatabarqa‛ lā tarāha? Lastu ′adrī While the unveiled ones will not see the sun? “ I don‟t know”? ′In yaku al-maotu qişāşan ′ayyu dhanbun li ţahārah If death should be a punishment; what kind of offence is chastity?

Wa ′idhā kāna thawāban ′ayyu faḑlun lid da‛ārah Or a reward, what credit is due to indecency? Wa ′idhā kāna wamā fīhi jazāun ′ao khasārah If it attracts neither reward nor loss, Falima ′al-asmā′u ′ithmun wa şalāḥun, lastu ′adrī What is the essence of the names; sin and goodness “I don‟t know”? ′In yaku ′almaotu hujū′an yamla′u an-nafsa salāma If death should be a slumber, that fills soul with peace, Falimādhā ′a‛shiqu an-naoma walā ′ahwa ′al-ḥimāmā Why do I long for slumber and never like the fate of death, Qad yaqīni ′al-khaţra ash-shaoku ′al-ladhī yajraḥu kaffī The thorns that wounds my hand might turn to save me from danger Wa yakūnu ′as-summu fil ‛aţri ′al-ladhī yamlau ′anfī The poison might be in the perfume that fills my nose, ′Innama ′al-wardu ′uwa ′al-afḑalu fi shar„ī wa „urfī The rose is the best in my own judgment and tradition. Wa′uwa shar„un kulluhu ẓulmun wa lākin: lastu ′adrī41 A judgment which is full of injustice, but “I don‟t know”? The poet, in the extracts above used his scholastic approach to argue the wrongness of the claims of those who claim to understand the puzzles of this existence. Epitrope: This is closely related to scholastic approach in the sense that both are used in argumentation and debate except that the communicator accepts the thesis of his or her opponents before he/ she uses that skilfully as ammunition in anti-thesis against the opponent42 as featured in the following extracts of the Ţalāsim:

′In taku ′al-‛uzlat nuskan wa ttuqā fa adh-dhi′bu rāhib If seclusion should be devotion and piety, then the wolf is a monk Wa ‛arīnu ′al-laethi daerun hubbuhu fardun wa wājib And the lion‟s den is also a monastery ordained to be loved ′In yaku ′al-maotu ruqādan ba‛dahu şaḥwun ţawīl If death should be a slumber after this there is a long consciousness Falimādhā laesa yabqa şaḥwuna hādha al-Jamīl43 Why can‟t we maintain this lively consciousness? In the above quoted extracts, the poet accepted for the purpose of argument the claims of his opposition in an attempt to explain rationale behind some things such as seclusion, rest in death among others. He then, skilfully debunked those claims with his own points. Litotes: in this type of semantic embellishment, the communicator negates a lexical item which is an implicit way of alluding to the synonym of the negated word44 as featured in the following extract of the work under review: Wa ini‛itāqan lā i‛tiqālan wa ibtidā′an lā khitāman45 And liberation rather than detention; and a beginning not the end, Lexical embellishments This type of embellishment lies in the lexical items employed in the proposition. The distinguish feature of lexical embellishment disappears once the lexical item is substituted with a synonym46. The volume of lexical embellishment in the Ţalāsim is lesser than the semantic embellishment contained therein. Paronomasia (Jinās) of different types, parallelism and Head-Tail are majorly the types of lexical embellishments that could be found in the work as featured in the extracts below: Paronomasia (Jinās): is a type of lexical embellishment which employs a number of words that are totally or partially homogenous in a single proposition47. There are different types of Jinās as exemplified with extracts from the Ţalāsim below:

Morphological Paronomasia: the lexical items employed in this type of embellishment have different grammatical categories which are morphologically related as featured in the following extracts: ′A ′anā ′as-sā′iru fi ′ad-darbi ′ami ad-darbu yasīr Am I the one moving on the road or the road itself? ′Anta yā baḥru ′asīrun ′āu mā ′a‛ẓamu ′asruk Oh you river, you are a slave like me, how strong is your own slavery? ′Am tarāu kāna mithla ′aţ-ţaer fī sijnin fa ţār Or a similitude of a caged bird which later flew away, Wa ′anā ′aḑḥaku ′aḥyānan wa lākin ′ayu ḑaḥak I also laugh some times, but which kind of laughter Wa balagtu ′as-sirra sirrī, ḑaḥikat nafsiya minnī And I have discovered the secret of my mystery. I laugh at myself. ′Ana kaş-şahbāi lākin ′anā şahbaī wa dannī I am just like a wine, but I am the wine and the jug of myself, Wa hawāha qabla raḥmī ′al-karami raḥmu ′al-ghādiya The womb of the morning rain had contained it before the womb of the grapevines. Wal ladhī ′aojada hādha ′al-lughza lugzun mubhamun48 Whoever originates this mystery is himself on obscure mystery. The underlined words in the above lines of poems are morphologically related even though they belong to different grammatical categories. Non-Resemblance Paronomasia: This lexical embellishment involves two lexical items whose constituent letters are the same except for one letter in each word. The place of articulation of the different letters does not resemble each other as featured in the following extracts:

Fa matā ′anju minal′ asri wa tanju, lastu ′adrī When shall we obtain our freedom “I don‟t know”? Qultu mā shādaka mon shādaka ′illa lil-kharāb I said: your constructor did not erect: you except for dilapidation ′Ao makānin marra dahrun wahwa li masra wa masrah Or a place which served me as a route and a stage in the course of time Qad raaetul ḥusna yunsa mithlama tunsa ′al-„uyūb I‟ve seen that good things are later forgotten as well as shortcomings La tasal ′ayyuhuma ′ashha wa abha? Lastu adrī Don‟t query which of the two is more desirable or splendid Qad raaetu an-namla yas‟a mithlama as‟a li rizqī49 I saw the ant strives as I do strive for my sustenance, The underlined words in the above quotes were all different in pronunciation with one single letter making them non-resemblance paronomasia. Parallelism: This includes the use of repetitive lexical item or a phrase for cohesion and to establish rhyme and assonance50 as contained in the following extracts of the poem under review: Kuntu maḥwan ′ao maḥālan

′am tarāni kuntu shayya

I was nothing or a mere craft or I was something else? ′A shabihat ḥāluka ḥālī wa ḥakā „uthriya ‛uthraka My conditions and excuses are just like yours, ′Innama ′anta bilā ẓillin

wa lī fil ′ardi ẓillun

It‟s only you are shadow less but I have my own shadow, ′Innamā ′anta bilā „aqlin

wa lī yā baḥru „aqlun

You are without brain, but I have brain, Fa ḥayātun fa khulūdun

′am fanā′un fa duthūr

Then an eternal life or ruin and destruction, ′Atarā ub‟athu ba‛dan

′am tarā ′ub‛athu kullan

Would you say I shall be partially or wholly resurrected? ′Atarā ub‟athu ţiflan

′am tarā ′ub‟athu kahlan

Or I shall be raised a child or a man? Kulla yaomin liya sha′nun,

kulla hīnin lī shu„ūru

Every day I have business and feelings, Rubba qubḥin „inda Zaydin

′uwa ḥusnun „inda Bakrin

Many an ugly things to Zayd is a beauty to Bakr, Hiya fī ra′siya fikrat wahya fī ‛aeniya nūr51 It‟s the idea in my head and the light in my eyes. Head–Tail: (Aţ-Ţasdir): This Lexical embellishment requires the occurrence of a lexical item at the beginning of a proposition which is similar to the same word at the end of the previous proposition52. Thus, the first word of the second sentence is called the head while the last word of the first sentence acts as the tail as it featured in the following extracts of the Ţalāsim: ′Ahumu fi ar-ramli? Qāla ar-ramlu ′inī lastu ′adrī Or they are very much in the sand, the sand replied; “I don‟t know”?

Qad dakhaltu ad-daera „inda ′al-fajri kal fajri aţ-Ţarub At the dawn, I arrived at the monastery like a gay dawn

Wa taraktu ′ad-daera „inda ′al-laeli kal-laeli al-gadhūb I left the monastery in the night like an irritable night, Kāna ′idh sawwāka sawwāka bilā qalbin wa rūh53

He would have created you, while creating you without heart and soul Below is the graphical representation of poetical lines of Ţalāsim which are divided into three segments: Lines which contain semantic embellishments of different forms, lines which contain lexical embellishment and other lines without any embellishment. 60 50 40 Series 3


Series 2 Series 1

20 10 0 Semantic Embellishment

Lexical Embellishment

Lines without embellishment

Table 1: Graphical representation of components of Ţalāsim Table one shows that the poet gave more attention to the semantic aspect of his poem even though he did not neglect the aspect of embellishment necessary to bring the beauty of the work to the fore. The next graphical representation contains the graphical components of the semantic embellishment as featured in the work under review. According to the graphic below, epistrophe carried the largest percentage of the semantic embellishment with more than 46 %, followed by antithesis with 15%. Other semantic embellishments were used in a very moderate proportion. He employed epistrophe to drive home the point that neither the poet nor any other being in existence can lay claim to the definite understanding of this existence to justify the title of the poem; Ţalāsim which means Talisman or magic; the more you look, the less you see. This is elucidated in the table below:

50 40 30 20 Series 1

10 Column2 Column1 Series 1


Column1 Column2

Table 2: Composition of the semantic embellishment contained in the Ţalāsim

50 45 40 35 30

Series 1





15 10 5 0 Paranomasia



Table 3: Composition of the Lexical embellishment contained in the Ţalāsim Table 3 exhibits the basic components of the few lexical embellishment elements in the Ţalāsim. Paronomasia took the lion share of 50% because of the fact that it has various types while the remaining portion was shared between parallelism and head-tail. This is to buttress the fact that, the émigré poets and writers gave preference to ideas and philosophy as they come rather than mere ornamentation.

In conclusion, The works of the émigré litterateurs placed high premium on idea and philosophy behind their poems rather than mere playing on words that characterized old Arabic poem even though they did not jettison the aspect of embellishment completely as that may render their works unattractive. This work examined the use of semantic and lexical embellishments in the Ţalāsim of Īliya Abū Mādī. The paper established the fact the poem featured quite a large of percentage of semantic embellishment compared to lexical embellishment buttressing the fact that poem was still very conscious of the philosophy behind his poem while utilizing various aesthetic tools to beautify his work.

Notes and References 1. M.M. Badawi. 1993. A short history of Modern Arabic Literature. 2. Nadirat Jamil Siraj. 1955. Shuarā′ ar-Rābiţati al-Qalamiyya. Dār Ma‟rif, Misr, p 85 3. There are sixteen basic meters for Arabic Prosody combined laid down by its founder Khalil bn Ahmad Al-Farāhīdy. Mutadārik meter one was later added by Akhfash. Muwashahāt, which was a form of free verse, was later introduced by Spanish poets. The émigré poets who were looking for a way to become free from the prosodic bond embraced this new meter. They later expanded it and added their own free verses to it. 4. Old Themes of Arabic poetry were restricted to panegyric, satire, vainglory among others. The émigré literature considered some of these themes as been devoid of the main essence of poetry which is inner feeling and ideologies of the poet. 5. Nadirat in his book titled Shuarā′ ar-Rābiţati al-Qalamiyya p252 dedicated a whole chapter to the innovations introduced by the émigré literature to Arabic literature. 6. Those who attended the inaugural meeting of ar-Rābiţat al-Qalamiyyah were: Gibrān Khalil Gibrān, the host, Michael Naimah, Abdl Masīh Hadād, Nadrah Hadād, Ilyās Atallah, William Catzeflis, Nasīb„Arīdah, Rashīd Ayyūb. 7. Ahmad Zaky in a book titled: „Rā′id ash-Shi‟r al-„arabi al-hadīth‟ ranked Īliya Abū Mādī. lower than his contemporaries among the émigré poets. But by popular view, Īliya Abū Mādī is ranked first. 8. Hussein Abdul-Raof. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric: A Pragmatic analysis. Routledge, New York, Taylor & Francis-e-Library. P 271. 9. The three components of Arabic Rhetoricians are: al-bayān, al-ma‛ānī and al-badī‛. 10. See R. Deremi Abubakre. 1989. Bayān in Arabic Rhetoric. P7 11. Shukrī Fayşal. 1966. „al-Adabu l‛-Arabī Min suqūti Baghdād ila ibtidāi‟n-nahḑah‟ in American University, Beirut al-Adabu l‛-Arabī fi āthari „d-Dārisīn, Beirut as quoted by R. Deremi. Op cit p.9 12. Basyūnī „Abdul Fattāh Fayūd. 2008. „Ilmu ′al-Badī‟: Dirāsatun Tārīkhiyyah wa faniyyah li′usūli ′al-Balāgha wa masāil ′al-Badī‟. Muassasatu al-Mukhtar, Cairo p. 110. 13. ‛Abbās M. al-‛Aqqād. Undated. ārāun fi ādāb wa ′l-funūn‟, al-aehat al-‛āmmat lil-kitāb.

Cairo. P.146 14. Nādira J. Sirāj. 1955. Op cit. p 47-48 15. See Adebayo T. 2000. Existentialism as depicted in the Ţalāsim of Īliya Abū Mādī: A Critical Examination. An unpublished Master‟s project submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan. P 7 16. M.M. Khafāji. Undated. Qişşatul ′adab ′al-mahjar. Dārut Ţibā‛tul Muhammadiyyah,

17. Nādira J. Sirāj . 1955. Op cit. p 61 18. Adebayo T. 2000. Op cit. P. 8. 19. I. An–Nā‟ūrī: Adabul – Mahjar, 3rd Edition, Cairo, Dar – l- Ma‟arif, 1977. P.363. See also Nādira, Op cit. 20. S. Lubky. 1954. At-Tayyāratul Adabiyyatu al-Hadītha fil Lubnan, p.363. 21. A. A. Al-Qabbānī. 1974. Īliya Abū Mādī Hayātuhu wa Shi‟ruhu fil Iskandariyyah, Cairo, AlHayhatul Masriyyah – l- ‛Ammah, P. 15. See also An –Nā‛ūrī. Op cit p. 364. 22. R. C. Ostle. 1975. Studies in Modern Arabic Literature. School of Oriental and African Studies, Uni. of London, p. 35. 23. See Al – Qabbani. Op. Cit p. 118 and also An –Nā‛ūrī. Op. Cit p. 365 24. I. An –Nā‛ūrī: Op. Cit p.365 – 366 25. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P. 240 26. Īliya Abū Mādī. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Beirut. Dār-al-ilmi lil malāyīn. Pp 139 - 177 27. Basyūnī „Abdul Fattāh Fayūd. 2008. „Ilmu ′al-Badī‟ p126. 28. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 29. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.246 30. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 31. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.247 32. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 33. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.249 34. Ibid. P. 246 35. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 36. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.246 37. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 38. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.247 39. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 40. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.255 41. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 42. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.250 43. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 44. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.245 45. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 46. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.259 47. Ibid. 249 48. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 49. Ibid. pp139 – 177 50. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.259

51. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177 52. Hussein. 2006. Arabic Rhetoric. Op cit. P.254 53. Īliya. 1986. Al-Jadāwil. Op.cit. pp139 - 177

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