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Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry: al-Shanfara and the Lamiyyat al-Arab Author(s): Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

Reviewed work(s): Source: International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Aug., 1986), pp. 361-390 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 05/05/2012 05:50
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Int. J. Middle East Stud. 18 (1986), 361-390 Printed in the United States of America

The premier position of the Limiyyat al-cArab among the poetry of al-shu'arWd al-sa'dlik (the brigand-poets) of the Jahiliyya is undeniable. Among scholars and philologists, both Arab and Orientalist, it has remained over the centuries the object of the most minute philological commentaries. Its Arab commentators number more than 20, among them the foremost names in classical Arabic literary scholarship: al-Mubarrad (d. 285/898), the doyen of the Basran school, whose commentary is said actually to have been taken from his Kufan archrival, Tha'lab (d. 291/904); the renowned poetic commentarist al-Tibrizi (d. 502/1109); and the famed grammarian and Qur'anic commentator, al-Zamakhshari (d. 538/1143).1 Its European popularity-a phenomenon that Blachere attributes to its appeal to the sensibilities of nineteenth-century Romanticism2-dates to Sylvestre de Sacy's study and translation of 1826,3 followed by Riickert's German translation in his Hamdsa of 1846.4 In philological studies, of note are the more than 20 pages of his Beitrdge that Noldeke devotes to lexical matters5 and Jacob's extensive two-part Schanfara-Studien.6 Despite its prominence, the Ldmiyya has been singled out, in a tradition going back to Ibn Durayd, as an Umayyad forgery composed by the notorious Basran poet-transmitter Khalaf al-Ahmar (d. 180/796). The source of this information is al-QalT'sal-AmlT (and al-Suyuti's Muzhir): Abu CAllsaid: "Abu Muhriz [Khalaf al-Ahmar]was the most knowledgeableof men concerningpoetryand language,and the most poetic of men in the styles [madhahib]of the Arabs.Abu Bakribn Duraydtold me that the qasidahattributedto al-Shanfara that is his. It is one of the foremostpoems in beauty,purityof language begins:"aqimu...." and length,for he was one of the ablestof men in verse.7 Yusuf Khulayyif, whose study of the sources in this matter is most exhaustive, opts for giving credence to Ibn Durayd. He adduces the unusual length of the Ldmiyya (twice that of any other su'lCk-poem), the paucity of variants, and the absence of any mention of it in two definitive works-the Kitdb al-aghdnTand the Lisdn al-CArab-as further support for his decision.8 We should consider, however, that Ibn 'Abd Rabbih in al-'Iqd al-farid, Ibn Qutaybah in Al-Shi'r wa al-shu'ard', and al-Jahiz in al-.Hayawdn all mention the attribution of another suClukpoem in lam, the so-called Rithd' of Ta'abbata
? 1986 Cambridge University Press 0020-7438/86/000361-30 $2.50


Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

Sharran that begins "inna bi al-shi'bi" or certain lines from it, to Khalaf alAhmar, but no mention is made of the Laimiyyat al-'Arab.9 Furthermore, as Khulayyif points out, except for the tradition of Ibn Durayd cited by al-QalTand al-Suyiti that the Ldmiyyat al-'Arab is a forgery, and al-Zabidi's attribution of it in Taj al-carus to al-Shanfara's sucluk companion Ta'abbata Sharran, all the classical sources that mention the Ldmiyyat al- Arab attribute it to al-Shanfara.10 This, especially when we note that "inna bi al-shicbi" was sometimes attributed to al-Shanfara," arouses the suspicion that the Ibn Durayd tradition may stem from a confusion of these two sacalik poems in lam.12 Thus, it could be argued that within the limits of the classical Arab tradition, the balance weighs well in favor of the authenticity of the attribution of the Lamiyyat al-cArab to al-Shanfara, particularly given the reputations of its commentators, the uniqueness of the tradition that attributes it to Khalaf al-Ahmar, and the possibility of guilt by association through its confusion with the other su'luk poem in lam, the Rithd' of Ta'abbata Sharran. In the Orientalist realm, opinions have varied. A most telling remark, however, is that of Noldeke: Es ist dies die Frage nach der Echtheitdes ganzen Liedes. Ich muss gestehn, dass ich dieselbenie wiirdebezweifelthaben, wenn ich nicht in der bestender von mir benutzten Handschriften... auf dem Titel die Wortegefundenhatte Lamiyyat al-Shanfard wa-qala innahd manhula und in der Uberschriftqala al-Shanfardwa-yuqaluinnahd manhula "nachEinigenist das Gedichtuntergeschoben." Dieser Verdachtwird nun durch einige Der wichtigstescheintmir der zu sein, dass wir keine Spur davon Umstandeuntersttitzt. finden, dass einer der altesten Philologen, die sich vorzugsweisemit der poetischen Literatur altenAraberbeschaftigten, Liedgekannthat.13 der dies The most ardent supporter of the authenticity of the Lamiyyat al-'Arab was Georg Jacob, who, taking exception to Ibn Durayd's accusation, set out to establish that al-Shanfara's poem is a typical representative of the Yemenite poetic art. His method for determining the authenticity of the poem, as he presented it in his two-part Schanfari-Studien, consists primarily of citing textual parallels-lexical, syntactic, and metric-from other pre-Islamic sources. Although this study thus demonstrates the authenticity or historicity of diction, subject, and style, it nevertheless does not counter the argument of those who consider the Lamiyya a pastiche composed by the most philologically knowledgeable and poetically gifted of the Iraqi transmitters.14 Krenkow, on the other hand, insists that the diction of the Ldmiyya includes phrases and terms not easily discoverable in other poems of al-Shanfara's period. He takes it rather to be a pastiche directly inspired by al-Shanfara's powerful "la taqbiruinT" poem in the Hamdsa (see below, p. 369).'5 Gabrieli considers Jacob's diligent word-by-word lexical analysis an anticipated refutation of Krenkow's remark. Of interest too is Gabrieli's assessment of Khalaf al-Ahmar's poem in the bedouin style, Mufad.daliyya no. 20 of alShanfara and the Ldmiyya. He concludes that the first, although bearing a superficial resemblance to the other two, is upon analysis a purely conventionalized and descriptive poem, lacking the element of psychological representation that is, in his estimation, the basis for the naturalistic descriptions of the

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


other two. Khalaf al-Ahmar's avowed composition is entirely lacking in the "unita psicologica fortissima" of which the Lamiyya is for Gabrieli the example par excellence."6 Blachere-who in his critical and analytical history of the transmission, compilation, and recension of early Arabic ash'ar and akhbar acknowledges the inapplicability of the traditional concept of individual propriety/authorship to early Arabic poetry'7-nevertheless sees fit to label al-Shanfara's previously uncontested Muffad.daliyya no. 20 a Kufan pastiche and to brand the Lamiyyat al- Arab an outright forgery by the hand of Khalaf al-Ahmar.18The more recent studies of Monroe and Zwettler19 concerning the oral composition and transmission of early Arabic poetry render nearly obsolete the traditional concepts of authorship and forgery. In light of the futility of the traditional arguments for the authenticity or spuriousness of what we term Jahili poetry in general and of the Lamiyyat al-'Arab in particular, I would like to suggest that we reexamine our approach to the problem and rephrase our critical questions. The first step in this critical reassessment is to reiterate the simple historical fact that is at the base of our scholarly frustration: we have no pre-Islamic sources for pre-Islamic poetry. What we possess is the Islamic reconstruction of a disrupted and largely lost "pagan" tradition. Thus, primary to our considerations must be the fact that virtually all the materials we possess are compilations and recensions by Muslims, the products of Islamic science and Islamic sensibility. At this point I would like to suggest that we might best understand the nature of the authorship and attribution of early Arabic poetry (with its accompanying akhbar and ansdb) by comparing the two great compilation processes of the early Islamic (second to fourth) centuries: of poetry and of hadith.20 As Blachere has astutely noted, the methodological shift in the theological sciences from isnad to ijmic appears to have been paralleled in literary matters: Plus on avance dans le temps, plus on travaillesur des materiauxde troisiemeou de de sont empruntes. main,et plus on devienttributaire ceux iaqui les materiaux quatrieme On se trouvedans la memesituationque les traditionnistes tels al-Buhari Muslim, ou qui, i en ou s'emploient constituer corpusles donneesjuridiques, theologiques autres,relatives a Mohamet ou aila premieregenerationmusulmane.... L'6ruditdu IIIe/IXe siecle est acculea une solutionde desespoir; poeme,tel recitsont recevables tel parceque tel savant ou tel groupede savantsfaisant autoriteles tiennentpour authentiques. Tels autressont au contrairedouteux ou irrecevables parceque ces memesautoritesles ont suspectes.La critiquedes "transmetteurs" s'imposedonc pourles eruditscommepourles traditionnistes qui leur serventde modeles.En outre, toujoursselon une tendencequi triomphedans le droit et en theologie, on s'efforcerad'introduire,dans le methode, les principes du
concensus doctorum (ijmmdc ).21

What remains is to expand upon Blachere's remarks by applying Goldziher's conclusions as to the authenticity of the Orthodox hadith collections (al-Kutub al-sitta) to the matter of the recensions and compilations of poetry. It can thus be said that, as in the case of hadith collections, a compendium such as Abi al-Faraj al-Isbahanl's Kitdb al-aghdnTderives its authority not so much from the soundness of the chains of transmitters that have related the ashcar and akhbar


Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

as to the fact that it reflects currently accepted material. Goldziher has concluded with regard to hadith: It would be wrongto thinkthat the canonicalauthorityof the two Sahihs (of al-Bukhari and Muslim)is due to the undisputedcorrectnessof their contents and is the result of The authorityof thesebooks has a popularbasis and holds good scholarlyinvestigations. in spite of free scrutinyof individualparagraphs. Nor does it refer to an indisputable of correctness the contents(the detailsof whichmay alwaysbe and havebeen, the subject of criticism),but to the obligationto considerthe contentsof the Sahlhs as authoritative
in religious practice ('amal). The popular basis for this authority is the ijma' al-umma,

al-ummabi'lthe unanimouscollectiveconsciousnessof the Islamiccommunity(talaqqT whichelevatedtheseworksto the heightswhichthey attained.22 qubil), Goldziher's remarks concerning the usefulness of the hadith collections then emerge as particularly appropriate for the literary-historical treatment of the poetic compendia: "The hadith will serve not as a document for the history of the infancy of Islam, but rather as a reflection of the tendencies which appeared in the community during the maturer stages of its development."23 Therefore, just as the blatant and provable "spuriousness" of some of the hadith (or of their presumptive validation through isnad) does not invalidate the collections as expressions of contemporary Muslim belief, so too, even the demonstrable "inauthenticity" or "misattribution" (in terms of historical accuracy) of a considerable amount of Jahili ash'ar, akhbar, and ansab does not invalidate the literary tradition qua literary tradition. In this regard, the Arabic literary biography, as we have it, is a largely Islamic literary form that began with the collection, by scholars such as Abiu 'Ubaydah in the second half of the second century, of akhbar and ansab and culminated with the definitive work of Arabic literary biography, the Kitdb al-aghdin, in the fourth century.24 Even the individual biographical data or anecdotes out of which the literary biographies of such works as the Kitiib al-aghdin are constructed have little historical validity, or at least verifiability.25 My recent research, largely in the Kitaibal-aghain, concerning the relationship between the ash'ar and akhbar of several classes of early Arab poets, suggests that the association of various poems and biographical incidents/ anecdotes with a particular poet is neither historical nor arbitrary. Rather, there is a semantic underpinning that binds the disparate elements of the literary biography together into what constitutes a coherent poetic personality. These poetic personality constructs are of a mythic, folkloric, and archetypal nature, with the result that there is a degree of correlation between the archetype reflected in the poet's akhbar and the dominant genre of the poetry that has come to be attributed to him.26 I have attempted to demonstrate that the full heroic qasida in its three thematic sections-the atldl/nasTb (description of the ruined abode and departed or departing mistress), the rahTl(journey through the desert), and the concluding section that comprises fakhr (praise of self or tribe) and related themes of the hunt, feast, drinking scene, or madh (panegyric) or hijd' (invective)-corresponds in structure to van Gennep's tripartite formulation of the rite of passage: separation, transition (commonly termed marginality or liminality), and incorporation (or aggregation)-that is, the full heroic archetypal pattern.27 The

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


akhbar of the su'luk, however, exhibit only the first two parts of the pattern. Thus the su'luk poet can be termed a "passenger manque," one who has failed to complete the rite of passage to adulthood and incorporation into the tribe as a fully responsible member and who thus remains perpetually in the liminal or transitional phase. Likewise, I have argued that the typical su'luk poem can be interpreted as a "qasidah manque," one that consists of the nasib and rahil sections to the exclusion of the concluding section of tribal fakhr.28 What I therefore propose in the present study is to discard the traditional question, "Is the Ldmiyyat al-'Arab the work of al-Shanfara?" and to attempt instead to answer the question, "Why was the Limiyya attributed to alShanfara?" I will try to show that al-Shanfara, as portrayed in the Kitab al-aghdnT,the Mufaddaliyydt, and the Hamdsah,29can be classified in archetypal terms as a perpetually liminal entity-that is, one whose behavior is characteristic of the liminal or transitional phase of the rite of passage and further, that the Ldmiyyat al-'Arab in its form and imagery is dominated by the signs and symbols associated with the liminality phase of the rite, or in literary terms, the rahil section of the qasida. It is my contention that this shared archetypal structure is the basis for the attribution of the Limiyya to al-Shanfara and the reason why, despite evidence to the contrary, the Lamiyya remains-if not in historical judgment, in the popular and literary imagination-the inalienable property of that fierce su'luk. It is hoped that the analysis of this openly disputed case of authenticity and attribution will serve as a paradigm for the study of the relation of other early Arabic poems to their putative poets. As a prelude to the examination of akhbar concerning al-Shanfara, let us examine the formulations of the rite of passage, particularly with regard to the characteristics of the transitional or liminality phase that, I contend, the su'luk has made a permanent way of life. Victor Turner summarizes the rite as follows: are Van Gennep has shown that all rites of passage or "transition" marked by three in phases:separation,margin(or limen, signifying"threshold" Latin), and aggregation. of The firstphase(of separation) comprisessymbolicbehavioursignifyingthe detachment from a set the individualor groupeitherfrom an earlierfixedpoint in the social structure,
of cultural conditions (a "state"), or from both. During the intervening "liminal"period,

he are the characteristics the ritualsubject(the "passenger") ambiguous; passes through of a culturalrealmthat hasfew or none of the attributesof the past or comingstate. In the or the The ritual third phase (reaggregation reincorporation), passageis consummated. subject,individualor corporate,is in a relativelystable state once more and by virtueof this, has rightsand obligationsvis-a-visothersof a clearlydefinedand "structural" type; he is expected to behave in accordancewith certain customary norms and ethical of standardsbindingon incumbents social positionin a systemof such positions.[Italics

Turner further elaborates on the characteristics of liminality: Liminalentities are neitherhere nor there;they are betwixt and betweenthe positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention and ceremonial. As such their attributesare expressedby a rich variety of symbols in ambiguousand indeterminate societiesthat ritualizesocial and culturaltransitions.Thus liminalityis frequently many likenedto death, to being in the womb, to invisibility,to darkness,to bisexuality,to the wilderness.31


Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

Mary Douglas discusses this marginal period with an emphasis on danger and antisocial behavior: states, simplybecausetransitionis neitherin one state nor the Dangerlies in transitional next, it is undefinable.The person who must pass from one to another is himself in dangerand emanatesdangerto others.... During the marginalperiod which separates ritual dying and ritual rebirth,the novices in initiationare temporarily outcast. For the durationof the rite they have no place in society. Sometimesthey live near enough for contactsto take placebetweenfull socialbeingsand the outcasts.Thenwe find unplanned them behaving like dangerouscriminalcharacters.They are licensed to waylay, steal, rape. This behaviouris even enjoinedupon them. To behave anti-sociallyis the proper condition.... To havebeen in the marginsis to have beenin expressionof theirmarginal contact with danger, to have been at the source of power.... Dirt, obscenity and lawlessness as relevantsymbolically the ritesof seclusionas otherritualexpressions are to of theircondition.32 It is these temporary ritual attributes of the passenger that we will then expect to find as the permanent literary attributes of the su'luk. In addition to the characteristics of liminality described by these anthropologists are some key features pointed out by Pierre Vidal-Naquet in two articles in which he has applied van Gennep's formulation of the rite of passage to the classical Greek institutions of "military apprenticeship," the Athenian ephebeia and the Spartan krypteia. Three of Vidal-Naquet's points are of particular interest to the present argument: first, in comparing the krypteia to the life and ethos of the mature "reaggregate"hoplite warrior, he notes that the two ways of life are by no means unrelated; rather, they are symmetrical opposites. "In sum," he concludes his comparison of the two, with the hoplite, order (taxis) reigns; in the krypteia there is nothing but cunning, deception,disorder,irrationality.... I think we may generalizeand extend what I have the for alreadysaid in discussing Spartankrypteia: we must recognizethat in Athens,and in many other parts of the Greek world. . the transition between childhood and in adulthood(the periodof marriageand fighting)is dramatized both ritualand in myth inversion."33 by whatwe mightcall the "lawof symmetrical Second, he observes that ruse or cunning (apate) is characteristic of the liminal mode of combat, as opposed to the straightforward and honest combat of the manly hoplite warrior. Thus, Melanthos, the Black Hunter, defeats Xanthos "the Fair One" by crying out as they are engaged in a duel, "Xanthos, you do not play according to the rules ... . -there is someone at your side!" When Xanthos reels about in surprise, Melanthos seizes the opportunity and slays him.34Third, as Vidal-Naquet demonstrates in the case of Sophocles' Philoctetes, in which the mature warrior Odysseus persuades Achilles' youthful son Neoptolemus to trick the liminal Philoctetes out of the bow of Hercules, only one liminal entity can successfully fight another-a case of fighting fire with fire.35 In addition, we should note that in his definition of the perpetually liminal figure of Melanthos as an "ephebe manque" Vidal-Naquet has arrived at a formulation that is analogous to our definition of the su'luk or "brigand-poet" as a "passenger manque."36

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


It is with these descriptions of the liminality phase and its characteristic behavior and symbols in mind that I would now like to turn to the akhbar of al-Shanfara. In the Kitab al-aghanTAbu al-Faraj relates on the authority of al-Namari: Al-Shanfara was of al-Awasibn al-Hajribn al-Hinwibn al-Azdibn al-Ghawth.37 was He taken captiveby the Banu Shababahibn Nasr ibn Fahm ibn CAmr Qays CAylan. ibn He remainedamong them until the Banu Salamanibn Mufrijibn 'Awf ibn Mayd'an ibn Malikibn al-Azd captureda man of the BanuFahm from the clan of the BanuShababa, so they ransomedhim with al-Shanfara. Thus it was that al-Shanfara remainedamong the BanuSalamanibn Mufrij,who alwaystreatedhim as one of them, until one day when he had a quarrelwith the daughterof the man who had taken him in. This Salami had taken him as a son and treatedhim with kindnessand generosity.So al-Shanfara said to man'sdaughter],"Washmy head, dear sister,"-for he had no doubt that she was [this his sister.She declared that he was not her brotherand slappedhim. He went awayangry, until he came to the man who had bought him from the Banu Fahm. Then al-Shanfara said to him, "Tell me the truth, who am I?" He said, "You are of the al-Awas ibn Then al-Shanfara replied:"I will not stop until I have killed a hundredof you, al-Hajr." becauseyou have treatedme as a slave!"And he kept on killingthem until he had slain attachedhimselfto the tribeof Fahm,and he used ninety-ninemen.... Then al-Shanfara to attack the Banu al-Azd on foot, sometimesin the companyof his companionsof the BanuFahm,but moreoften alone.38 This anecdote amounts to an etiological myth to explain the exaggerated animosity of al-Shanfara for the Banf al-Azd, his natal tribe. It serves to define him in dialectical opposition to the social role of the reaggregate warrior who should rather perpetuate his own bloodline and shed the blood of the enemy. But the Banu al-Azd, by accepting the originally Azdite al-Shanfara as ransom and treating him, however affectionately, as a slave and foreigner, have in effect denied his paternity. It is thus with a certain semiotic logic that he swears to spill the blood of the Banu al-Azd rather than perpetuate it. He repays their betrayal of him-the denial of paternity and inversion of his status from free-born kin to slave non-kin-by assuming precisely that inverted status. His position is thus an ambiguous one: He is by birth a member of the Banu al-Azd (kin), by action-what amounts to swearing an oath of blood-vengeance against them-a member of the Banu Fahm (non-kin). He is devoted to the extermination, not the propagation, of his line. His position vis-a-vis the normal tribal convention is thus betwixt and between, ambiguous, and anomalous. Two other versions of al-Shanfara's alienation from his natal tribe, the Banu al-Azd, and his alliance with their blood-enemy, the Banu Fahm, likewise revolve around the abrogation of kinship obligation on the part of the former. Al-Anbari relates in his commentary on the Mufa.d.daliyyat: It is also said that the reason for al-Shanfara'sattacks against the [Banu Salamanibn al-Azd]and killingthemwas that one of them had leapt on his fatherand slain him while al-Shanfarawas still small. When al-Shanfara's mother saw that no one was going to avenge [her husband's]blood, she took al-Shanfaraand a younger brotherof his and went to live under the protection of the Banu Fahm. She remainedwith them until al-Shanfaragrew up. Then his impetuousness began to show itself and he came to be


Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

disliked. However, he made an impressionon Ta'abbata Sharran,whom he regarded until highly,and becameattachedto him. So he carriedout raidswith Ta'abbataSharran no one daredcrosshis path.39 The law of blood vengeance, which virtually amounts to the definition of the distinction of kin from non-kin, is that a man kills only non-kin and avenges only kin. The behavior of the Banu al-Azd toward al-Shanfara's father is thus just the opposite of what is required by tribal custom. It is both treacherous and anomalous. To al-Shanfara's mother the message is clear: The kin status of her husband and children having been denied, she packs up her two small children and seeks refuge with their non-kin (i.e., kin have become like non-kin and nonkin have become like kin). It is in this ambiguous situation that al-Shanfara then grows up. However, in order to become his father's heir, to assume adult status in the tribe, the youth must avenge his father.40In al-Shanfara's case, this would mean slaying his natal kin, thus defining himself as non-kin. The marginality and ambiguity that characterize transitional liminality are thus both permanent and essential aspects of al-Shanfara's identity. Yet another version, given here as it appears in al-Anbari's account, attempts to effect a resolution of al-Shanfara's ambiguous status by projecting the ambiguity onto another figure: Al-Shanfaraand his motherended up among the Banu Fahm becausethe Bani al-Azd
had killed one of the Banu Fahm who was under the protection of al-Harith ibn al-Sa'ib al-FahmT. So the Banu al-Azd gave al-Shanfara and his mother and brother as a pledge [for the bloodwit] and surrendered them to the Banu Fahm. They never redeemed the pledge, so al-Shanfara grew up among the Banu Fahm. He was intrepid and stouthearted and was the fiercest of the Banu Fahm in killing and plundering the Banu al-Azd. And

prior to this some of his people had killed his father [italics inserted],who had been a man of rank among his people, but of meagremeans.... Then when the Banu al-Azd slew al-Harithibn al-Sa'ib al-FahmT, they refusedat first to pay the bloodwit for him,
until finally it was paid by a man called Haram ibn Jabir .... When al-Shanfara grew up

he began to carryout raidsagainstthe Banu al-Azd and he killed whomeverhe caught. Then he came to Mina when Haramibn Jabirwas there. Someone said to al-Shanfara, "Thatis the man who killed your father."So he attackedhim and slew him and escaped on foot. Thenhe recited: I slew Harambringinga sacrifice a pilgrimwith mattedhair for In the valleyof Mina,in the midstof the clamoring pilgrims.41 This story, which appears to be a conflation of two or more others, is striking for its own ambiguity. It having been stated that (1) someone from the Banu al-Azd slew al-Shanfara's biological father, and (2) al-Shanfara was reared in the household of al-Harith ibn al-Sa'ib al-Fahmi, who was subsequently slain by the Banu al-Azd, it is not clear whose death al-Shanfara is avenging. Lyall, in order to clarify the matter, interpolates into his summary of the anecdote, "He seems to have looked upon al-Harith as his father."42The killer of al-Shanfara's father would thus be Haram ibn Jabir, who, by paying the bloodwit for al-Harith, accepted the blame for the murder. On the other hand, the statement in al-Anbari's text that "prior to this one of them [i.e., the Banu al-Azd] had killed his father" seems to be an interpolation aimed at explaining "the killer of your

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


father" as the Azdite who had killed al-Shanfara's father-which is in keeping with the previous anecdote. What we appear to have here is a narrative confusion that reveals an underlying semantic confusion of the identities of al-Shanfara's biological Azdite and adoptive Fahmite fathers. On one level it demonstrates that even to the narrators the issue of al-Shanfara's paternity-and hence identity-was far from clear. On a deeper level, it shows an attempt to resolve this ambiguity by attributing a dual identity to Haram ibn Jabir as the killer of both al-Shanfara's biological and adoptive fathers. In any case, as the further akhbar will show, this act served to reaffirmal-Shanfara's hostility toward his natal tribe. The final episode of al-Shanfara's life centers on the retaliation of Haram ibn Jabir's kinsmen for his death at the hands of this sucluk: ... Then a man from the Banf al-Azd came to Usayd ibn Jabir(the brotherof the slain in Haram)and said, "I left al-Shanfara the marketof Hubasha." Usaydibn Jabirreplied, "ByGod, if you are tellingthe truth,we shall not returnuntil we haveeatenfamiliarfruit at Ubaydah." Then Usaydlay in wait for him along the road, togetherwith Haram'stwo sons. They heardhim coming in the middleof the night;he had taken off one shoe and was wearingthe otherto disguisehis gait. Whenthe two youths heardhis footsteps, they But So said, "It'sa hyena!" Usaydsaid, "It'snot a hyena,it's al-Shanfara! each of you put his shoe over his heart(maqtal)."Whenal-Shanfara their outlinein the darknesshe saw withdrewfor awhileto see whetheranyone would follow him, then he returneduntil he was close to them. The two youths said, "He saw us!," but their uncle replied,"No, by tactic so you would not follow God, he did not see you. He merelyused a diversionary him. So each of you put his shoe over his heart!"Then al-Shanfara shot and hit one of the shoes, and the one who was hit did not make a move [so al-Shanfara thought him dead]. Then he shot againand transfixedUsayd'scalves. Whenhe saw this, he drewnear until he was in their midst.Then they leapt on him and took him and bound him firmly. Theytook him to theirtribethen and flunghim down in theirmidst.Theydisagreed upon whetheror not to kill him, for some of them said, "He is your brotherand your son." Whenone of Haram's sons heardthis, he smotehim and cut off his handat the wrist.43 Then they said to him when they wantedto kill him, "Whereshall we bury you?"and he replied: to 1. Do not buryme, for my burialis forbidden you, but rejoice,oh Hyena! 2. Whenthey carryoff my head-and in my headis most of meand the rest of me lies abandoned the battlefield, on 3. Then I will haveno desirefor a life to cheerme throughstagnating nights,
anathematized by my crimes.44

Al-Shanfara died falling short by but 1 of his quota of 100 Bani al-Azd. But according to the akhbar, he was not one to let death stand in the way of his resolve: "And when al-Shanfara had been killed and his head flung away, one [of the Banu Salaman ibn al-Azd] passed by him and kicked his skull, and in so doing injured his foot. He died from this injury, thereby completing the hundred. 45 The story of al-Shanfara's capture by Usayd ibn Jabir and the sons of the slain Haram is replete with indications of al-Shanfara's liminal status and his inverted


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relationship to his natal tribe, the Banu al-Azd. Usayd refers to his anticipated slaying of the su'luk as eating "familiar fruit" (janan alrf), apparently a metaphorical expression for the slaying of a kinsman. The attack is an ambush by night during the sacred months, a typical liminal mode of fighting and in symmetrical opposition to reaggregate heroic combat in the open, by day, in the permitted months. This reflects the principle established by Vidal-Naquet that the marginal entity, the su'luk in our case, can be defeated only on his own terms. Al-Shanfara enacts a ruse that functions on several semantic levels to convey a most concise and striking image of his marginal and ambiguous condition. The very fact of employing a ruse or trick, as Vidal-Naquet has shown, is an indication of liminality. The symbolic significance, as well as the practical effect, of al-Shanfara's ruse (walking with one shoe off and one shoe on) is to be half man and half animal. The two youths think that he is a hyena, an appropriate liminal symbol because of its nocturnal habits and its peculiarly antisocial function (particularly in the poetry of blood-vengeance) of devouring the corpses of those slain on the battlefield. In more precise terms the symmetrical inversion between human and hyena can be expressed in the formula: humans eat slain animals x hyenas eat slain humans. Furthermore, as Diel has discussed in the case of Oedipus, and I in the case of Ta'abbata Sharran, to have an improper gait or to be poorly shod or unshod is a symbol of "psychic deformity," of deviation from the proper path of passage or the inability to complete the prescribed passage. It is thus an especially fitting attribute of the "passenger manque."46 In more general terms, we should note, as Chelhod has,47 that the shoe is the paramount symbol of culture, that which in a literal as well as symbolic sense separates man from nature, man from animal. Thus al-Shanfara's walking with one shoe off and one shoe on places him in a typically liminal position "betwixt and between" culture and nature, man and beast. A ruse demands a counterruse: Usayd ibn Jabir, Haram's brother, orders his two nephews to put one of their shoes over their hearts. Once more, the shoe functions in a richly symbolic manner. Their counterruse has the effect of putting them in the same liminal state as the su'luk-one shoe off and one shoe on-in accordance with Vidal-Naquet's rule that only a liminal youth can defeat a perpetually liminal entity. At the same time, it is the shoe, the symbol of culture, that is struck by the su'luk's arrow and thus saves the youth's life. When al-Shanfara shoots and hears the arrow hit, but no movement afterwards, he assumes his victim is dead. He then wounds the uncle who, as a mature (reaggregate) man, has suggested the ruse to the youths, but has not adopted it himself. When al-Shanfara approaches his victim, the two youths spring on and capture him. The confusion over al-Shanfara's identity surfaces once more when the sons of Haram bring him back to the Baniual-Azd. There are still those among the tribe who would consider him kin: "He is your brother and your son." But the will to vengeance, the determination that he is ultimately non-kin, wins out. When he is asked about his choice of burial place, al-Shanfara replies, affirming his non-kin status, with his famous poem from the Hamdsa of Abi Tammam, "Do not bury me...." To leave a corpse naked and unburied for the

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


vultures and hyenas to consume is precisely the treatment prescribed for the enemy dead; the kinsman, by contrast, is buried and avenged. Al-Shanfara's claim that his burial is muharram (forbidden, unlawful) to them is a declaration of his non-kin, enemy status; hence they are obligated to violate his corpse. In so doing, they will have vindicated his life's goal. The su'luk's dying words then amount to an ironical inversion of the usual poetic conceit: the plea of the dying kinsman for burial and vengeance.48 It is my contention that the analysis of these akhbar of al-Shanfara, even in cases where the versions appear on the surface to be at odds with one another, reveals a dominant theme that can serve to define al-Shanfara according to the archetypal pattern of the "passenger manque." His relation to his natal tribe, the Bani al-Azd, constitutes a symmetrical inversion of the normal reaggregate tribal member. He brings death rather than life; he is animal-like rather than human. Instead of his ultimately reversing this liminal behavior and reentering the tribe as a fully responsible adult, these characteristics are, in the case of the su'luk, perpetuated until (or even after) and reaffirmedby his death. Having established this archetypal substratum as the basis for the accumulation of these akhbar around the figure of al-Shanfara, I would now like to employ it to analyze two of his most famous poems: his Mufa.d.daliyyain ta', the attribution of which has never (with the single exception of Blachere, see above, p. 363) been specifically questioned, and the Ldmiyyat al-'Arab, which, conversely, has been the subject of controversy for more than a millennium.
The Ta'iyya of al-Shanfara (Mufaddaliyya no.

1. Alas, Umm 'Amr gathered her resolve and departed; she bade no farewell to her neighbors when she turned and went away. 2. Umm 'Amr left before us, without warning and cast over us the shadows of her camels' necks. 3. By my two eyes, she went forth at evening, then nighttime and morning; then she finished her affairs, and departed and went away. 4. How my heart aches for Umayma! After my desireMay God grant her a life of ease-she went away. 5. Oh neighboress! you are not one to arouse blame when she is mentioned, nor one to elicit hatred. 6. She stirred my delight, never lowering her veil when she walked forth, not glancing left or right. 7. At night, after a short sleep, she takes to the neighborwomen milk drawn at evening, when gifts are scarce. 8. She alights in her dwelling, a place secured from blame, when in other dwellings blame alights. 9. Modest, as though she had lost something on the ground and was intent on finding it; if she speaks to you, she is curt.


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10. Umayma's mate is not disgraced by her repute; when women are mentioned, she is chaste, of high esteem. 11. When, in the evening, he goes out, he returns to his eye's delight, as a happy man returns, not asking where she's been. 12. She was delicate and dignified, full-statured, in full bloom; If beauty could change people into jinn, a jinni she would be. 13. We spent the night together as if the tent above us were ringed in basil, wind-wafted, in the evening, dew-moistened, 14. Basil from the lowland of Halya, abloom and redolent; from a region untouched by drought. 15. Many a fighting band, their bows red from wear, did I call forth; he who raids returns at times with plunder, at times without. 16. We went out of the river-bed [that lies] between Mish'al and al-Jaba, how far off I led my flock! 17. I trek on and on over the earth that will never harm me to strike a foe or meet up with my doom. 18. I trek on, despite the raid's fatigue and distance; each morning and evening bringing me ever closer. 19. A mother of many children I have seen feeding them; when she feeds them she is niggardly and gives little. 20. She fears we will be destitute if she is generous, as hungry as we are-how she runs her family!50 21. It is not that she is stingy with what is in her provision bag, but it is because she fears hunger [for us] that she holds back.51 22. A companion of sa'alik, there is no veil before her; she is not hoped for at home till her night-raid is complete. 23. A quiver she has of thirty broad-tipped arrows; when she spies from afar the first of the foe, with excitement she quivers. 24. She rushes upon the battle-ready foe, baring her leg to the knee; she roves like the he-ass before his herd, circling his she-asses. 25. When they panic she lets fly a white cutting [sword]; she shoots her store of arrows, then draws her blade. 26. A keen blade, salt-colored, of unsullied steel, cutting, like the ripples of the oft-described pond.52 27. You see [the swords] swinging to and fro like the tails of calves returning from water; they have drunk a first draught of blood, and then a second. 28. We slew a pilgrim for a pilgrim slain, one leading a beast to sacrifice for one with matted hair; at Mina where the stones are thrown, in the midst of chanting pilgrims.53

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry ibn 29. We repaidthe Salaman Mufrijwhatwe owed them; for the crimestheirhandshad committedand theirpast sins. for 30. A tribewas congratulated me, but I broughtthem no benefit; and I becamepartof a tribethat was not my stock.54 31. We quenchedby [slaying]CAbd Allahpartof our burningthirst beforethe battle-ground and by [slaying]CAwf whenthe battle-cry wentup. 32. Whenmy deathcomes,I shall not mind; sisterswill not weepfor me, nor my paternalaunt. my mother's 33. For had I neverstirredfromsittinghome amidmy kin, yet deathwouldhavecome to me betweenthe two tent-poles.55 34. Let no friendcome to tend me;if illnessails me, peak. my curewill be to raceup DhOal-Burayqayn's is 35. I am sweetif my sweetness desired, and bitterwhenthe soul of an inconstantcomradethinksme bitter. 36. Disdainfulof what I disdain, quickto respondto everysoul that is inclinedto makeme happy.


The striking beauty of the nasib of al-Shanfara's Tadiyya has long been admired by Orientalists. However, I cannot agree with Lyall's remark that "the beautiful prelude... needs no elucidation."56 Below the pellucid surface are subtle but forceful suggestions. In the first 14 lines the poet has exploited certain rhetorical features to produce a nasib that is extraordinary for its intensification of two aspects: the first, femininity; the second, departure, rejection, and loss. These are expressed simultaneously-indeed, are identified with each otherthrough the persistent repetition of the perfective third person feminine singular. This is, of course, not an unexpected morphological feature in a poem rhymed in ta'. But let us observe that in the nasib (lines 1-14), 11 out of 14 lines rhyme with this verbal form, whereas it forms the rhyme word in only 8 of the remaining 22 lines. This insistence is further intensified by what amounts to a secondary rhyme in lam, a luzum ma ld yalzam running throughout the nasib. Thus the tasrT' (rhymed hemistichs of the opening verse) is fa-istaqallati ... tawallati. Ten of the remaining 13 lines of the nasib likewise include the secondary lam-rhyme, all but one of them with tashdTd.Of the other three, line 6 has the rhyme word talaffati, the lam one syllable removed; and two (12 and 14) have in its place another liquid consonant, nun. This reiterative morphological insistence is then further intensified by the repeated use of the same verbal form within the line, particularly in line 1 (four times), line 3 (six times), and line 12 (five times). The series of resonances and reverberations is further enhanced by the repetition of several verbs, in particular the two that establish the semantic burden of the nasib: istaqallati (she went away from the tents), in lines 1 and 3; and tawallati and wallati (she turned her back, departed), in lines 1 and 3. In addition we find taqallati (from q-l-w to elicit hatred) in line 5, qallati (from q-l-l to be few) in line 7, and jallat (she was imposing, majestic) in lines 10 and 12. The effect of this morphological takrar li-al-tawkTd (repetition for the sake of


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emphasis) in this lovely description of chaste and modest womanhood, coupled with determination, departure, and the finality of the perfective aspect of the verb, is to create an intense sensation of irretrievable loss and absolute separation. If we then look back to the opening line, we find already established there (she gathered her resolve, she departed, she did not say farewell, she went away) the psychological setting of loss and departure within which the delicate description takes place. It is perhaps worth mentioning in this context Ibn Rashiq's remark that the use of repetition is particularly appropriate to rithad (elegy).57Certainly in this nasib it functions likewise to evoke a sense of obsessive sorrow. By the time we reach the lyrical erotic night-scene of the two lovers (lines 13 and 14), it is quite clear that it is at most an irretrievable memory, but more likely an idyllic fantasy. It is the element of loss and irrevocability of this idealized and then idyllic feminine scene that establishes its analogy to the "separation"phase of the rite of passage, "symbolic behaviour signifying the detachment of the individual... either from an earlier fixed point in the social structure, from a set of cultural conditions ... or both" (V. Turner, above p. 365). With line 15 we are abruptly expelled from the feminine modesty, domesticity, and basil-decked bower of the nasib and thrust into the world of a marauding band of brigands. The liminal identity of this band is established in the imagery and diction of the first four lines (15-18). The band is termed baidi'a, a flock, herd of sheep, but also, a portion separated from the rest of the herd (Lane). Their bows of nab'-wood have become reddened from constant use and exposure to the sun and rain.58Their life is one of perpetual raiding, alternating between failure and success. In line 16 the su'luk continues to speak of his band in terms of a flock (surba). The marginality of liminal life in general, and in particular the centrifugality of the perpetually liminal sa'alik is expressed in geographical terms: they depart from the valley or riverbed (where an at-least seasonal supply of water provides a source of life and civilization) whose placenames connote culture, Mish'al (strainer), and al-Jaba (reservoir tank). Hayhdt! "How far I have led my flock!" suggests how far astray, how far afield. The su'luk leading his human flock away from the life- and the culture-sustaining riverbed and into the wastelands constitutes a symmetrical inversion of the good shepherd leading his flocks to herbage and water. The su'luk is now on the margins or outskirts of the hospitable and habitable world. Lines 17 and 18 then employ a rhetorical process of morphological intensification similar to that of the nasib to emphasize the perpetual liminality of the su'luk. Whereas the classical qasida commonly employs a verb such as qata'a (to cut, to cross) to say, "On such a she-camel I crossed the desert"-that is, a clean and direct passage through the liminal waste with a she-camel as his mount-the sucluk, on foot, treks on and on, seemingly without direction, from one raid to another. The reiterative intensity is expressed through the use of the imperfective aspect of the form-II verb umashshT... umashshT(I keep walking and walking) at the beginning of verses 17 and 18. It is of note that the su'luk lacks the naqa (she-camel), the traditional tribal mount and vehicle of passage, whose presence

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


seems invariably to guarantee the completion of the rahil/passage, the incorporation of the passenger into the tribe and the arrival of the poet at the fakhr or madh. The inversion of status appropriate to the liminal entity is found too in line 17: The earth, the wilderness, poses no threat to the su'luk; but when it comes to human contact, he is, in Mary Douglas's words, "himself in danger and emanates danger to others" (above, p. 366). The hardship characteristic of the liminal phase, "the physical and psychological weakening" of the passenger, to use van Gennep's phrase,59is the subject of line 18, in which the su'luk tramps on night and day, despite distance and exhaustion, to the site of his next raid. The tibaq (antithesis) between bu'd (distance) and yuqarribu (bring near) suggests the anomalous nature of the su'luk's perpetual liminality: As time passes he is led farther and farther afield, to more deadly attacks against human society rather than back to reincorporation into it. There follows (lines 19-27) the celebrated description of the umm ciyil (mater familias), traditionally said to be a description of al-Shanfara's companion, Ta'abbata Sharran, the infamous su'luk of the Bani Fahm.60The commentaries offer several explanations for the gender inversion in this passage. Umm cIyal is commonly said to be the sobriquet of Ta'abbata Sharran, in which case the retention of the feminine gender falls somewhere between normal grammatical concordance and extended simile: "(He) is like a mother with many children who. ...." The commentaries remark further that the Banu al-Azd call the chief of their qawm (fighting men of the tribe) a mother (umm), and that the Lisan al-'Arab states that the Arabs call the man who is in charge of feeding and serving the qawm their mother. As proof, al-Shafici adduces this verse.61 Inasmuch as these explanations appear to be of a rather circular nature, having been deduced from the poem at hand, further speculation as to the significance of this gender inversion is in order. To begin with, in light of the insistence upon delicate, domestic, and modest femininity in the nasib, the rendering of this su'luk description in the feminine of itself sets it up in contrast to the previous section: Umm 'Amr/Umaymah was veiled, confined herself largely to her tent, adhered strictly to societal demands and expectations (i.e., what is intended by the statement that she was never the subject of gossip or a source of shame), and gave generously to the needy even in times of hardship. The "feminine" of the su'luk rahil, as if by Vidal-Naquet's "law of symmetrical inversion" (above p. 366), is stingy, afraid of poverty (line 19), the unveiled companion of impoverished brigands, who, far from remaining confined to her tent, is rather to be found abroad at night carrying out a raid (line 22). Further, the image of the indigent mother trying to feed her large brood suggests a widow and her orphaned offspring, who, like the sa'alik, are cut off from tribal sustenance and protection. Finally, "she" is not even female, as becomes increasingly clear from the battle-description in the ensuing lines (23-27). The feminine gender of the su'luk chieftain, together with the emphasis on stinginess, destitution, and hunger, constitutes a symmetrical inversion too of the traditional motifs of tribal fakhr-the bounty and liberality of the lords of


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the tribe who heap up platters to feed the poor. Indeed, the hunger/satiety or hardship/ease opposition is one of the major subcategories of the nature/culture dialectic as exhibited in the rahil/fakhr division of the classical Arabic qasida. Thus the description of Ta'abbata Sharran (?) as Umm Clyal, the destitute mother of a numerous brood, serves a double dialectical function: It establishes at once a symmetrical opposition between the feminine domesticity of the tribal Umm 'Amr and the liminal suCluk on the one hand, and between the latter and the (reaggregate) tribal chieftain of the traditional fakhr-section on the other. Second, we should note that among the common symbols or attributes of the liminality phase are transvestitism, bisexuality, and androgyny.62In this context, the gender inversion serves to suggest sexual confusion: the su'luk becomes in terms of sex or gender ambiguous, "betwixt and between" the domestic femininity of Umm 'Amr and the "straight" masculinity of the tribal chieftain. Thus the description of the su'luk as Umm 'lyal functions on several semantic levels to depict "a cultural realm that has few or none of the attributes of the past or coming state" (Turner, above p. 365). This passage concludes in line 27 with a striking simile that compares the swinging to and fro of calves' tails as they return from a water-hole to the slashing of swords that have sated their thirst for vengeance with blood. Although the apparent objective correlative is the swinging motion of the tails and swords, the real message is that cattle are sustained by water, sa'alik by blood. The poem reaches its climax in line 28 with the slaying of a pilgrim in retaliation for another pilgrim slain. A dialectic is thus set up between sanctity and sacrilege. The victim is performing a sacred religious duty (the sacrifice at Mina), whereas the avenger is perpetrating the worst abomination-killing a pilgrim within the confines of the haram during the sacred month of Dhuf al-Hijja.63 This abomination is itself, however, obligatory upon the sucluk, because it is in retaliation for another slain pilgrim (mulabbad, a pilgrim whose hair is matted down with samgh), or, as the commentary paraphrases it, "qatalna rajulan muhriman bi-rajulin muhrimin"-"we killed a man consecrated for pilgrimage for a man consecrated for pilgrimage."64The khabar that has been handed down concerning this poem (quoted above pp. 368) claims that the pilgrim leading the beast to sacrifice (muhdi) is Haram ibn Jabir, the purported slayer of al-Shanfara's father, who would thus be identified with the pilgrim with matted hair. The su'luk is thus face to face with a fierce contradiction when he comes upon his father's killer among the pilgrims at Mina: the obligation to avenge his father (whose death was the same abomination) and the abomination of killing a pilgrim. If we accept Mary Douglas's definition of pollution or abomination as contradiction or anomaly,65 we will see that line 28 is carefully constructed so as to bring out precisely this concept. The su'luk has no choice but to complete the circle of sacrilege. That his victim is himself leading a victim to slaughter sets up a further dialectic between sanctity and sacrilege, between sacrifice and its symmetrically inverted form, blood-vengeance66: In sacrifice an animal is slaughtered to feed to humans, whereas in blood-vengeance a human is killed and left as carrion for animals. The blunt juxtaposition of the first

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


hemistich is followed in the second by the intensification of or insistence upon the sanctity of the scene of the sacrilege: at Mina where the assembled pilgrims chant, "Labbayk, ya Rabb, labbayk!"67The equation of blood-vengeance that is rhetorically implicit in the double tibaq of line 28 (We slew a slain pilgrim for a pilgrim) is then explicitly stated in the following line: The avenger is merely requiting the crimes of his enemies against him. The remaining lines of the poem (30-36) comprise what appears to be a combination of several variant endings.68Lyall has transposed lines 30 and 31 to felicitous effect. A truly convincing ending, however, would require choosing from among the available verses. Rather than take so great a liberty, I will limit myself to the discussion of several lines deserving of comment in the context of the present argument. The inverted and outcast status of the su'luk is aptly expressed in the couplet formed by lines 30 and 31: he did not fulfill the expectations of, or his obligations to, his natal clan, but went instead to live among a clan that were not his stock. This contradicts the basic tribal formula that those with whom one fights are kin and those against whom one fights are non-kin. Having thus defined himself as non-kin to his natal clan, it follows (line 32) that his natal womenfolk will not mourn his death. The centrifugal thrust of the perpetually liminal entity who seeks refuge not in the tribe but in the wilderness is the theme of line 34. The su'luk wants no friend to tend him in his illness; rather his cure is the flight to the summit of Dhu al-Burayqayn, which we might translate as "the mountain of the two small lightning bolts." The mountaintop is, as I have discussed elsewhere,69 the ultimate margin, lying "betwixt and between," where the earth meets the sky, the profane meets the sacred. The theophanous nature of the mountain peak and the lightning flash evokes Mary Douglas's statement, "To have been in the margins is to have been in contact with danger, to have been at the source of power" (above p. 366). The flight to the mountaintop, to the furthest margin, which also forms one of the concluding images of Mufaddaliyyah no. 1 attributed to Ta'abbata Sharran, can thus be interpreted as a symmetrical inversion of reincorporation, of the fakhr of the nourishing and protecting tribe, a theme sometimes expressed as a descent into a green valley.70Thus, the return to safety and society (aggregation) is replaced in the su'luk poem by the flight into the wilderness, to exposure and isolation on the mountain peak. At this point I should like to examine the Lamiyyat al-'Arab in order to demonstrate that it exhibits in its symbols and imagery precisely those liminal, antisocial characteristics that informed the diverse akhbar and ash'ar of al-Shanfara in the biographical notices and commentaries of the Kitdb al-aghini, Mufad.daliyyit, and Hamdsah, and that served to create a coherent archetypal entity, what we have termed the "passenger manque." Further, I hope to determine to what extent the Lamiyyah satisfies the formal expectations established above for the typical su'luk poem, i.e., that it comprises elements that express separation/nasib and liminality/rahil to the exclusion of imagery or symbols that would signify or suggest reincorporation/tribal fakhr. It is my intention in doing so to refute first Yisuf Khulayyif's claim that su'luk poetry


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bears no relation to the classical "tribal" qasida,71 and second and more specifically Gabrieli's remark that the Lamiyyat al-'Arab does not constitute a proper poem.72 Ldmiyyat al- Arab73 1. Raise, my brothers, the chests of your mounts, set them straight; as for me, I incline toward another tribe. 2. The provisions have been readied, the night is moonlit, the mounts firmly saddled for your destinations. 3. In the land there is, for the noble-hearted, a place remote from harm; for him who fears hatred, a refuge. 4. By your life, the earth does not constrain a man who travels by night, by free will or by force, if he has his wits about him. 5. I have closer kin than you: a wolf, swift and sleek, a smooth and spotted leopard (smooth speckled snake), and a long-maned one-a hyena. 6. They are kin among whom a secret, once confided, is not revealed; nor is the criminal because of his crimes forsaken. 7. Each one is haughty-proud and reckless-brave, except that I, when the first of the prey appear, am braver. 8. But when hands stretch into the provision bags, I am not the quickest; for then the greediest clansman is the quickest. 9. This is nothing but my more extensive magnanimity, and the best of men is the most magnanimous. 10. I have to recompense the loss of those who do not requite my kindness, near whom no satisfaction is to be sought, 11. Three companions: an emboldened heart, a white and polished sword, a slender yellow bow, 12. Resonating from its smooth back, adorned with amulets suspended from it and with a shoulder-strap. 13. When an arrow slips from it, it resounds like a she-camel afflicted and bereft, moaning and wailing. 14. I am not one who thirsts easily and pastures his herds by night, the young camels cut off from milk, though their mothers' udders are not bound, or: I am not one who leads his herds afar until they thirst, who pastures them by night, the little ones cut off from milk, though their mothers' udders are not bound. 15. Nor am I a coward, foul-breathed, clinging to his wife, consulting her on his affairs, how should he go about it? 16. Nor a startled ostrich, his heart aflutter as though a sparrow flitted in it.

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry

17. Nor am I a good-for-nothing stay-at-home, flirtatious, who comes and goes, night and day, anointed and painted with kohl. 18. Nor am I a tick, who does more harm than good, bewildered; when you scare him, he jumps in defenseless frenzy. 19. I am not a man confused by darkness, when the wayless waste confronts the guidance of the confounded fool. 20. When the hard and flint-strewn ground strikes my hoofs, sparks and splinters fly! 21. I prolong the periods of hunger until I have killed it; I turn my mind from it and forget it. 22. I eat the earth's dust dry, lest any benefactor think me indebted for his favor. 23. Were it not that I shun blame, there would be no place of drink, life-giving, that I did not attend, nor any feast. 24. But a bitter soul does not let me remain in blame, but prods me to move on. 25. I writhe around the hollow of my gut, like a rope-maker twisting his strands, firm and tightly twisted. 26. I go out early in the morning on scanty food, like the thin-hipped wolf led on from one waste to another, dust-colored. 27. He goes out in the morning, famished, heading into the wind, light-footed, swooping down the ends of mountain paths, or loping. 28. When his prey evades him from where he sought it, he calls out, and others like him, emaciated, return his call. 29. Fleshless, white-faced, they are like bare arrows in the two hands of a maysir-player, clattering. 30. Or like the agitated queen-bee, her swarm astir from the sticks that the honey-gatherer throws. 31. Wide-mouthed, as if their jaws were splints of branches, they bare their teeth, ferocious. 32. Then he clamored and they clamored on the broad and barren plain, as if they and he were wailing women, on the heights, bereaved. 33. He shut his eyes, and they theirs; he imitated them, and they him; in their destitution he consoled them and they, destitute, consoled him. 34. He whined and they whined, then afterwards he desisted and they desisted; for endurance, when complaining is of no avail, is better. 35. He returned and they returned, hastening ahead of him, each, despite his hunger, has the kindness to hide it. 36. The dark, dust-colored sandgrouse drink my dregs, after traveling through the night in search of water, their brittle ribs rattle.



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37. I strove and they strove as we raced, then they slackened and I proceeded, at leisure, rolling up my sleeves. 38. Then I turned away from them, and they collapsed at the drinking-place, their chins and crops resting right on it. 39. As if the clamor that went up on its two sides and all around were from bands of tribal travelers alighting there. 40. They converged on it from all sides; it gathered them as a wayside waterhole draws the scattered bunches of the camel-herds. 41. They gulped down the water hurriedly, and then departed as if they, at morning, were riders from Uhaza hastening. 42. I am familiar with the face of the earth when I take it as my bed on a firm back raised by desiccated vertebrae. 43. For a cushion I take an arm, fleshless, its joints like gambler's bones which he casts forth, so they stand out. 44. Then if war, the Mother of Dust, is grieved at al-Shanfara, yet her delight in him before was longer. 45. I am an outcast hunted by crimes that draw lots for his flesh: the winner gets the first choice of his carcass. 46. Whenever he sleeps, they sleep, wide-eyed, quick to harm him, piercing. 47. One accustomed to cares that keep returning to tend him, like quartan fever, or even graver. 48. When they come to drink, I disperse them; but then they regroup and come from above and from below. 49. So if you see me, like the snake, the sand's daughter, exposed to the sun, weakened, barefoot and shoeless, 50. Know that I am the master of endurance: I don its cloth like a shirt on the likes of a young wolf's heart; I am shod with determination. 51. I am at times in want, at others, not in need; the one who attains riches is the ambitious man, heedless of his honor. 52. I am not impatient over poverty, exposing it, nor, overweening, do I exult over riches. 53. Intemperance does not scorn my forbearance, nor am I to be seen begging, rumor-mongering. 54. Many a cold ill-omened night when the bow's owner warms himself by burning it and the arrows with which he is skilled, 55. I tramped in the darkness and drizzle, my companions: hunger and cold, fear and trembling.

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry

56. I widowed women and orphaned children, then returned as I set out, and the night was black. 57. In the morning, because of me, two bands in council sat at Ghumaysa', one responding, the other questioning. 58. They said, "Our dogs were whining in the night." We said, "Was it a wolf on the prowl or a prowling hyena-whelp?" 59. "It was but a faint noise, then they went back to sleep." We replied, "Was it a sandgrouse, startled, or a startled falcon?" 60. "If it was one of the jinn, then he is a more sinister night visitor; and if it was a man-men do not act like that!" 61. Many a day of the Dog Star, when the heat waves melt, and the vipers writhe restlessly on the scorching earth, 62. I faced straight on, no covering to shield me nor any veil, except a tattered cloak, 63. And full long hair; when the wind blows its matted locks fly up on all sides, uncombed. 64. Long since the touch of balm or delousing, it is full and caked with filth; for a year it has gone unwashed. 65. Many a windswept plain, like the back of a shield, a barren waste, its back not to be traversed, have I crossed on my two legs. 66. I joined its end to its beginning, looking out from a summit, sometimes sitting, my knees drawn up; sometimes standing. 67. The dust-colored does of the mountain goats roamed around me, as if they were maidens trailing long-trained gowns. 68. They stood motionless around me in the twilight, as if I were, to the white-footed she-goats, a long-horned buck, heading toward the mountain slopes, unassailable.


Before proceeding to a more detailed analysis, let us first observe that the imagery throughout the Lamiyya is of behavior diametrically and dialectically opposed to the tribal values of protection, propagation, satiety, and ease (i.e., aggregation); the poem is fraught instead with images of danger, hardship, poverty and privation, wildness and wilderness. Of particular note is the absence, here as in most suCluk poetry, of the naqa (she-camel), the mount on which the tribal poet completes the crossing of the liminal desert (rahil) and arrives at the safety and satiety of the tribe and its institutions (tribal fakhr). The absence of the naqa, that semantically burdened beast, the symbol of the support and guidance (almost the totemic animal) of the bedouin tribe, in itself signals the inevitable failure of the poet to complete the passage and the impossibility of the poem's concluding with the tribal fakhr of the classical qasida-form. So too, the themes that commonly comprise the fakhr section-the battle and hunt scenes with the faras (horse) as the mount, the drinking scene, and the commensal feast-are to be neither expected nor found in the typical su'luk poem.74


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The limited space of this article will not allow for an extensive analysis of so long and rich a poem. I will therefore limit the discussion to the examination of those aspects of diction, symbol, and imagery that are pertinent to the argument at hand. The poem opens with a succinct declaration of the su'luk's separation and deviation from his kinsmen and their intended course. This is given rhetorical emphasis through the tibaq between the first and last words of the line: aqimu, here the first meaning is raise, but also straighten, point aright, direct; further, it is related to qawm, the reaggregate fighting men of the tribe, and mustaqLm, following the right course; "Raise the chests of your mounts, set them straight ahead!" he exhorts his kinsmen. Amyalu (meaning mdail),75 "I am diverging, deviating, inclined," the verse concludes. Thus, both the poet and his kinsmen are setting out on a night journey-that is, a liminal passage-but the latter are mounted and following the straight path (line 1), and are provisioned and pointed toward their destination (line 2). In line 2 the poet, by means of jinas (paranomasia), establishes a semantic identity through false etymology: that is, by a pun on tiyyat (destinations) from the root t-w-y, and mataya, s. matiyya (mounts), thefac'l form of m-t-w. The rhetorical effect of this jinas is to establish a causal link between the camel mounts and the arrival at the intended destination. The completion of the passage by the su'luk's mounted brethren is thus semiotically secured. By contrast, the poet is destined to go far afield (line 3), for al-ard, the earth, really means the wilderness, the desert. The two nomina loci of this line, man'an and mutacazzal, indicative of remoteness and isolation, are in symmetrical opposition to his kinsmen's destination-society and aggregation. Having rejected his human kin, the poet substitutes for them-almost, it would seem, by way of compensation-affinities and associations with wild beasts that recur throughout the poem. In line 5 the poet names precisely those beasts that are characteristically antihuman, enemies of civilization (as opposed to merely nonhuman): the wolf that preys on mankind and his herds; the leopard (or snake), likewise a predator; and the female hyena, notorious for molesting and devouring the unburied corpses of those slain in battle.76 Further, if we examine the rather obscure diction of this verse, we will notice that these animals are denoted not by name, but by epithets that suggest liminality and ambiguity: camallas (black and white); arqat (black and white spotted snake or leopard, anything of two different colors); carfd' (long-maned [hyena]).77 These antihumans the su'luk then terms his people (ahl). This metaphorical substitution does not entail merely analogy, but also a complex poetic process of antithesis and negation. Indeed, the reader will observe that throughout the poem two metaphorical processes function that are particularly appropriate to express the ambiguous status of the liminal entity betwixt and between the human and the animal: the feralization of the human and the anthropomorphization of the animal. A similar process is at work in lines 11-13, where the poet's weapons are personified as ashdb (friends, companions) in order to replace his lost human ones. Lines 14-19 comprise what might be called the su'luk's self-definition by negation, or by double negation. The point of this passage is, I believe, to distinguish the su'luk from other types of men who have failed to join the qawm

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


(the men who stand up and fight for the tribe). The su'luk is not, he states emphatically, to be confused with the effete and effeminate, the foolish and impotent, the cowardly or incompetent. He then proceeds to describe himself as exceeding, not falling short of, the reaggregate tribal male in endurance, fortitude, and resolve. Line 20 initiates a series of images that depict the physical hardships of the liminal desert, largely through descriptions of its fauna. In a revealing metaphor, the poet describes "my camel-hoofs" (mandsim), referring, as the al-Mubarrad/ Tha'lab commentary points out,78not to any she-camel on which he is mounted, but his own feet, which send sparks flying as they strike against the flinty ground. In one word he thus alludes to the traditional tribal vehicle (the she-camel) while at the same time affirming her absence-he is, as it were, his own mount-and indicating the battering his feet are taking. Line 21 introduces the theme of an ever-intensifying hunger, which by line 25 has become almost a cultivated art or acquired skill, like rope-making-an intentional, obsessive, and, the poet would have us believe, freely chosen occupation (lines 22-24). With an ironic twist the image of the rope-maker produces an antithesis curiously appropriate to the su'luk's liminal status: The goal of society is to produce satiety, whereas the su'luk cultivates the art of starvation. Line 23 amounts to a rejection of the communal institutions for food and drink, of participation in commensal rituals and the obligations that they entail. The tibaq of line 24 yields a similar meaning: the rejection of the stable and stationary (tuqTmu,to remain) for the perpetually moving (atahawwalu, to move from one place to another, be devious, shifting, mutable). The hunger motif of the preceding passage serves to lead us on to the extended wolf simile (lines 26-35), a scene that performs the same function as the Umm Ciyal(mater familias) passage of al-Shanfara's Tdaiyya (above p. 372), that is, to establish the image of the sucluk antisociety based on hunger in symmetrical opposition to the tribal society based on satiety. The wolf, since he lives in a pack, displays a characteristically liminal ambiguity: He is a social animal, and at the same time a symmetrical inversion of the su'luk himself, the antisocial human. The perpetual wandering in the wilderness of both the wolf and the suCluk is succinctly phrased in line 26: tahddahu al-tand'ifu, the wastelands lead him on, or as Zamakhshari puts it in his commentary, every time he leaves one wasteland he enters another.79Thus the usual meaning of the root h-d-y, to go or be directed in the right way, is subverted here in the VI form reciprocity of first one desert leading him on and then another. The passage as a whole is one of animal privation-hunger, emaciation, exhaustion-that is enhanced by similes of human privation-maysir arrows in the hand of a gambler who trembles in desperate anticipation (line 29),8? bereaved and wailing women (line 32). This passage, then, with its simile of man to wolf and wolf to man, is thus constructed on the same metaphorical principle established above: the feralization of the human and the personification (or socialization) of the feral. The wolf scene is followed by that of the sandgrouse in which once again the social animal-the flock of sandgrouse-is compared to human society-the deprivation and desperation of bedouins migrating in search of water. Here the poet contrasts his own forbearance and dignity in the face of privation to the uninhibited frenzy of the sandgrouse. The poet reiterates here the disdain he


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expressed in line 8 for the greedy man quick to stretch his hand into the provision-bag. As in the wolf scene, there is again a complex network of oppositions at work between the flock of sandgrouse, the impoverished bedouin, and the su'luk who, with appropriately liminal lack of status, belongs to neither. "I am familiar with the face of the earth," the poet declares in line 42. The three words dlafu wajha al-ardi provide a self-definition that succinctly encompasses the liminal dialectic: The root '-l-f signifies socialization-familiarity, custom, domestication. But the familiar face for the su'luk is not a human, social one, but that of its opposite, the wilderness-precisely what is untamed and unsocialized. Just as the su'luk has eschewed the tribal vehicle of the shecamel for his own "hoofs," so too he substitutes his own emaciated body for the other furnishings and accoutrements of the civilized world: His bed is his own protruding spine, his cushion a fleshless arm. This literal "self"-sufficiency is at the same time a negation: To have one's own spine for a bed is, plainly speaking, to have no bed. The opening epithet of line 45, taridu jinayatin (expelled for crimes), is a phrase imbued with a curious bivocality. Tarada means to expel, drive away, or banish, but also to hunt or pursue. The expression thus means a man expelled because of his crimes, but also one tracked down or hunted by his crimes. The two meanings reveal two complementary liminal qualities: first, that the su'luk is someone who has been expelled from human society because of his criminal, antisocial behavior and second, as a result, becomes the prey (feralization again), hunted by mankind, the inverse of the tribal hunter. Thus the two meanings ultimately yield to univocity: To be expelled from society is to become its prey. The su'luk's crimes are personified as maysir-players, gambling over his flesh. The crimes are, no doubt, homicides; the gamblers, the would-be avengers. The metaphor thus identifies the su'luk with the jazuir, the camel selected for slaughter. His fate is sealed and the only question is which gambler will win, which of the many avengers who seek his blood will shed it. The su'luk describes himself in line 47 as ilfu humimin, accustomed to cares. The humim, the cares and anxieties of the poet/lover, are a well-known motif of the classical qasidah that often provides the transition point from the nasib to the rahil: The poet resolves to leave these troubles behind and undertake the desert journey. In this su'luk poem, by contrast, these cares are not left behind, but constantly return to plague their victim. The incessant recurrence and increasing intensity of these attacks is expressed by the verb cada, which means both to return and to visit the sick repeatedly (the verbal noun ciyad refers to the second meaning). These anxieties then return to tend the su'luk again and again, as an attentive visitor tends an ailing friend. Their intent, however, is not to cure him, but the opposite. Hence, in the second hemistich these attendants are likened to quartan fever, an often fatal form of malaria in which the fever returns with regularity (every fourth day) and with increasing intensity, leaving the victim each time more exhausted and closer to death-a particularly fitting metaphor for the "passenger manque." In the following line (48) the antithesis of warada and sadara, to go to water and return from water (originally of cattle and people, and then as a common metaphor for the avenger's sword drinking its victim's blood), is used to describe the humum as livestock that come to quench their thirst and are sent away sated only to return again and again.

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


The dialectic of liminal exposure/tribal protection is the basis for the images of lines 49 and 50. The su'luk is not a man protected by the accoutrements of civilization and the institutions of the tribe, of which the shoe, "mediating" between the foot and the ground as culture does between man and nature, is perhaps the most basic symbol. The su'luk, like the snake writhing on the burning sand, is exposed directly to the sun and to nature, without mediation. His reliance on himself instead of on society and its concomitants is expressed in metaphorical terms: He is clothed in endurance, shod with determination. The description of the su'luk's night-raid (lines 54-60) is remarkable for the conciseness and precision with which it depicts an episode that is quintessentially liminal in all its details. The time is night, a night so ill-fated and desperate that the hunter burns the very bow and arrows to which he owes his livelihood. It is into this night of darkness, cold, rain, hunger, and fear that the su'luk sallies forth to procure his "livelihood," which is, as far as tribal society is concerned, death. The antithetical and lethal relation of the su'luk to society is then stated with a terrible conciseness: fa-ayyamtu niswanan wa-aytamtu ildatan, I widowed women and orphaned children-the symmetrical inversion of the reaggregate tribal male who marries women and fathers children. The following morning a discussion ensues among the men of the smitten tribe. By an ingenious indirection the poet captures the liminal characteristics of the su'luk, his ambiguity and invisibility. The men cannot agree on what transpired, or on who or what the unseen night-attacker was. It was only the growling of the dogs that alerted them to his presence. Darkness, invisibility, danger, and indeterminateness, the prime abstractions with which the anthropologists characterize the liminal phase of the rite of passage, are all embodied in this shadowy figure: Was it a wolf or a hyena whelp? (line 58). A sandgrouse or a falcon? (line 59). A man or a jinni? (line 60).81 The penultimate section of the poem (lines 61-64) consists of a description that, as would appear to be true for the poem generally, is important more for its ritual intent than for its apparent realism. It comprises a portrait of the su'luk face to face with nature at its most brutal, with nothing but the most worn-out remnants of the accoutrements of civilization that might mediate between him and that brutality. No clothing veils him from the scorching sun; his hair, the grooming of which is a symbol of culture, is uncombed, unanointed, and full of lice and filth. We should note here too Mary Douglas's remark that filth is the proper expression of the liminal condition. More specifically, in the matted, unwashed locks of the su'luk we can detect one of the emblems of the state of ritual consecration, ihrdm (the prohibition [or foreswearing] of wine, women, meat, ointment, and washing and combing the hair) that marks the liminal phase of the rituals of the Hajj and of blood-vengeance.82 The portrait depicted in the Lamiyya is thus particularly appropriate to the archetypal character portrayed in the akhbar of al-Shanfara-the man perpetually in search of blood-vengeance and hence perpetually liminal. The closing section of the Lamiyya (lines 65-68) exhibits neither the motifs we might have expected on the basis of other su'luk poems-the centrifugal flight, the sun-scorched peak, the ineluctability of death83-nor those of the celebration of incorporation into the tribe that we might have expected to find in a full classical qasida. It has instead as its closure a curious metaphorical


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aggregation. Line 65 exhibits diction and motifs that would suggest the transition from the rahil to the tribal fakhr in the classical qasida, except that to cross the wilderness the su'luk has substituted "my two legs" for "my she-camel." Likewise, "I joined its end to its beginning" (line 66) might have been a cue for the conclusion of the rahil and the opening of the fakhr or madih and all the images of satiety, abundance, protection, and propagation that the aggregation phase entails. Instead, in a powerful image of masculine domination and fertility the poet likens himself to a long-horned buck surrounded on a mountain slope by white-footed she-goats, which in turn he likens to maidens trailing long robes. The ritual undertone of this image is that of the tawaf, the circumambulation of idols in certain pre-Islamic fertility rites.84 The image is not an entirely unfamiliar one; rather, it is suggestive of one of the motifs that often closes the rahil section of the classical qasida, the poet's comparison of his she-camel to the triumphant wild bull that has escaped the hunter's hounds or, what is perhaps even closer, to the wild ass with his mate or mates that likewise has escaped a human predator.85 This closing vision of survival and salvation is created by precisely that method of double inversion that has informed the poem throughout: the feralization of the human-the su'luk (again as in line 65 in the place of the she-camel) likens himself to the long-horned buck, the hunters' prey-and the personification (or socialization) of the animal-the she-goats are likened to maidens in ritual procession. The poem thus proceeds and succeeds through a characteristically liminal symmetrical inversion of the nature/culture dialectic. Moreover, the juxtaposition of this image of triumphant deliverance that concludes the Lamiyya with the image of al-Shanfara's death as expressed in his Hamasiyyah (above, p. 369) suggests to us the ultimate ritual significance of the su'luk: He is, like Oedipus, the surrogate victim or scapegoat, the anathematized hero who, for the community, "conjures up a baleful, infectious force that his own death-or triumph-transforms into a guarantee of order and tranquility."86 What should perhaps have aroused the critics' suspicion, however, is that the result of this complex metaphorical interplay-the substitution of the su'luk himself for the she-camel and subsequently as the subject of the simile of the escaped prey, and the further substitution of this closing motif of the rahil for the concluding image of the poem so as to form a metaphorical aggregationcreates an air of lyrical melancholia that is more akin to the pastoral wasteland of a Majnun Layla or Qays Lubna-that is, the CUdhrighazal of the Umayyad period-than to the heroic ethos of the Jahiliyya. I have attempted to demonstrate through this analysis that the "undisputed" akhbar and ash'ar of al-Shanfara on the one hand and the Lamiyyat al-'Arab on the other are characterized by an archetypal pattern of perpetual liminality, what we have termed the "passenger manque." It is this common semantic substructure, I believe, that is responsible for the accumulation of these materials around the name and legend of al-Shanfara. If we are to opt for Islamic authorship of the Lamiyyat al-'Arab, there is no evidence to preclude this possibility. However, when we come to the specific question of the authorship of Khalaf al-Ahmar, there is no historical proof or

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


internal evidence, stylistic or otherwise, to support so specific an attribution. What is more certain is that the Ldmiyyat al-'Arab was composed in such a way as to define a genre-even to encompass it-with the result that to this day, the relation of every other suCluk poem to the Ldmiyya is that of the part to the whole.
DEPARTMENT OF NEAR EASTERN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES INDIANA UNIVERSITY NOTES Author's note: A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the annual conference of the American Research Center in Egypt, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1983. Funding for the research was provided by the I.C.A. through the American Research Center in Egypt, 1982. 'Fuat Sezgin, Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums, Vol. 2, Poesie bis ca. 430H (Leiden, 1975), pp. 133-37. 2R6gis Blachere, Histoire de la litterature arabe des origines a lafin du XVe siecle de J.-C., 3 vols. (Paris, 1952), vol. 2, p. 285. 3Sylvestre de Sacy, Chrestomathie arabe, 3 vols. (Paris, 1926), vol. 2, pp. 345-430. 4F. Riickert, Hamdsa I(Stuttgart, 1846), pp. 181-85. 5Theodor Noldeke, Beitrdge zur Kenntnis der Poesie der alten Araber (Hannover, 1864), pp. 200-22. nebst Ubers. und beige6Georg Jacob, Schanfart-Studien, I. Teil: Der Wortschatz der Lam&ja fiigtem Text; II. Teil: Parallelen und Kmt. zur Limija, Schanfara-Bibiliographie (Munich, 1914, 1915). 7Abui CAlI IsmaCil ibn Qasim al-Qali, al-AmalT, 2 vols. (Beirut, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 157; 'Abd al-Rahman Jalal al-Din al-Suyut7, al-Muzhir fT Culumal-lugha wa-anwdaihd, 2 vols., Muhammad Ahmad Jad al-Mawla Bek, ed. (Cairo, 1945), vol. 1, p. 176. 8Yusuf Khulayyif, al-Shucara' al-sac'dlkfi al-casr al-jdhilT(Cairo, 1966), pp. 179-80. 9Ibn 'Abd Rabbih, al-'lqd al-farfd, 7 vols., Ahmad Amin et al., eds. (Cairo, 1965), vol. 5, p. 307; Ibn Qutaybah, al-ShiCr wa al-shu'arai, M. J. de Goeje, ed. (Leiden, 1904), p. 497; Abu cUthman 'Amr ibn Bahr al-Jahiz, al-.Hayawan, 7 vols., CAbdal-Salam Muhammad Haruin,ed. (Beirut, 1969), vol. 1, p. 182. ?Khulayyif, al-Shu'ard' al-sadalTk,p. 177. 'Ibid., p. 176. "2Al-'Utbl's claim (in an anecdote related in Hamdsat al-Khalidiyyayn) that Khalaf al-Ahmar composed a poem in lam on the Ahl al-Bayt that is the source of the accusation of his having forged the Ldmiyya refers, according to Khulayyif, to the "Rithda of Ta'abbata Sharran" and not, as Sezgin seems to think, to the Ldmiyyat al-'Arab. Ibid., pp. 175-76; Sezgin, Poesie, pp. 460-61. '3Noldeke, Beitrdge, p. 201. 14Jacob, Schanfara--Studien,passim. '5F. Krenkow, "al-Shanfara," Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1st ed. '6F. Gabrieli, "Sull'autenticita della 'Lamiyyat al-CArab'," Revista degli Studi Orientali, 15 (1935), p. 361. On reading Khalaf al-Ahmar's qasida (J. Ahlwardt, Chalef elahmar's Qasside [Greifswald, 1859]), I cannot help but agree with Gabrieli. Its beauty lies in the charm of a tour de force of consciously archaized imagery, as opposed to the tension and momentum that characterize the Ldmiyya and al-Shanfara's undisputed poetry. See also F. Gabrieli, "Ta'abbata Sarran, Sanfara, Halaf al-Ahmar," Atti della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, ser. 8 (1946), 40-69. Note too that the authorship of "Khalaf al-Ahmar's qasidah" is by no means certain. Sezgin, Poesie, p. 460. '7Blachere, Histoire, vol. 1, pp. 86-102, 115, 156, 182. '8Ibid., vol. 2, p. 285. '9James Monroe, "Oral Composition in Pre-Islamic Poetry," Journal of Arabic Literature, 3 (1972), 1-53; Michael Zwettler, The Oral Tradition of Classical Arabic Poetry: Its Character and Implications (Columbus, Ohio, 1978). See especially Ch. 4, "Variation and Attribution in the Tradition of Classical Arabic Poetry."


Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

20Blachere, Histoire, vol. 1, pp. 124-27; Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych, Innovation in a Literary Tradition: Abu Tammdm, Poet and Anthologist, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1981, pp. 249-64. 21Blachere,Histoire, Vol. 1, p. 124. 22IgnazGoldziher, Muslim Studies, 1., 2 vols., S. M. Stern, ed., Barber and Stern, trans. (Chicago, 1971), vol. 2, p. 236. See also Snouck Hurgronje, "Le droit Musulmam," Arnold van Gennep, trans., in Selected Works of C. Snouck Hurgronje, Bousquet and Schacht, eds. (Leiden, 1957), p. 223; Th. W. Juynboll, "Hadith," Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1st ed. 23Goldziher,Muslim Studies, vol. 2, p. 19. 24Blachere,Histoire, vol. 1, pp. 112-17. 25Ibid.,vol. l, p. 162. 26Theseconclusions were presented in two as yet unpublished papers: "The Nature of Narrative in the Kitab al-Aghan'" (Middle East Studies Association conference, Philadelphia, 1982) and "Durayd ibn al-Simmah and the Passing of the Heroic Age" (American Oriental Society conference, Baltimore, 1983). 27Arnold van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, Vizedom and Caffee, trans. (Chicago, 1960), p. 11 (Les rites de passage, 1909); Suzanne Stetkevych, "Structuralist Analyses of Pre-Islamic Poetry: Critique and New Directions," Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 43 (1983), 85-107; Suzanne Stetkevych, "al-Qasidah al-'Arabiyyah wa-Tuqus al-'Ubur: Dirasah fTal-bunyah al-namudhajiyyah," Majallat Majma' al-Lughah al-'Arabiyyah bi-Dimashq, 60, 7 (1985), 55-85. 28Suzanne Stetkevych, "The Suc'lk and His Poem: A Paradigm of Passage Manque," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 104, 4 (1984), 661-78. 29For the full bibliography of the akhbar and ash'ar attributed to al-Shanfara see Sezgin, Poesie, p. 134. The major portion of his poetry, excluding the Ldmiyyat al-'Arab and the Tdaiyya from the Mufaddaiyyat, has been edited by 'Abd al-'AzTzal-MaymanTin al- TaraDif al-adabiyyal (Cairo, 1937), pp. 31-42. 30Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure (Ithaca, New York, 1977), pp. 94-95. 3'Ibid., p. 95. 32Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London, 1966), pp. 96-97. 33Pierre Vidal-Naquet, "The Black Hunter and the Origin of the Athenian Ephebeia," in R. L. Gordon, ed., Myth, Religion, and Society: Structuralist Essays by M. Detienne, L. Gernet, J.-P. Vernantand P. Vidal-Naquet (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 154-55. 34Ibid.,pp. 150-51. 35Pierre Vidal-Naquet, "Sophocles' Philoctetes and the Ephebeia," in Jean-Pierre Vernant and Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Tragedy and Myth in Ancient Greece, Janet Lloyd, trans. (Sussex, 1981), pp. 177-84. 36Vidal-Naquet,"Black Hunter," p. 162; Stetkevych, "Su'lik and His Poem," pp. 664, 673. 37Al-Anbari's version of this anecdote in al-Mufaddaliyydt as edited by Lyall vocalizes the name as al-Iwas ibn al-.Hijr ibn Hunay'. Normally I have followed the vocalization of the text cited. 2 Charles James Lyall, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, vols. (Oxford, 1918), vol. 1, p. 195. 38Abual-Faraj al-Isbahanm, Kitab al-aghdnL,32 vols., IbrahTm al-Ibyari, ed. (Cairo, 1969-), vol. 24, pp. 8391-93. vol. 1, p. 196. 39Lyall,al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, 40Cf. for example the Kitab al-aghani narratives about Imru' al-Qays and Qays ibn al-Khatim; Kitab al-aghanm, vol. 9, p. 3201; vol. 3, pp. 849-52. 4 Lyall, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, vol. 1, pp. 197-98. 42Ibid.,vol. 2, pp. 72-73. 43Kitabal-aghani, vol. 24, pp. 8399-401. 44Ibid., p. 8397. Abiu All Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-MarzuqT, Sharh dTwan al-hamasa, 4 vols., Ahmad Amin and 'Abd al-Salam Haruin,eds. (Cairo, n.d.), vol. 1, pp. 164-66. 45Kitabal-aghanL,vol. 24, pp. 8401-2. 46Paul Diel, Symbolism in Greek Mythology: Human Desire and Its Transformations (Boulder, Colo., 1980), p. 125; Stetkevych, "The SuClukand His Poem," pp. 668-69. 47Joseph Chelhod, Le sacrifice chez les Arabes: Recherches sur l'evolution, la nature et lafonction des rites sacrificiels en Arabie occidentale (Paris, 1955), pp. 75-79.

Archetype and Attribution in Early Arabic Poetry


48Cf.Hamasiyya no. 52 by Kabshah; Al-Marzuqi, Sharh dlwan al-hamasa, vol. 1, pp. 217-19. 49Lyall, al-Mufaddaliyydt, vol. 1, pp. 194-207, with the commentary of al-Anbari; Ahmad Muhammad Shakir and 'Abd al-Salam Muhammad Hartn, eds., al-Mufad.daliyydt (Cairo, n.d.), pp. 108-12. The reader may want to compare my translation with that of Lyall, al-Mufad.daliyyat, vol. 2, pp. 68-73. 5?Ta'allat is a metathesis for ta'awwalat (root '-w-l), to manage a family. Shakir and Harin, al-Mufaddalivyat, pp. 110-11. 5'This line does not occur in all recensions, cf. ibid., p. 111; Lyall, al-Mufad.daliyydt,vol. 1, p. 204. 52Lyallnotes that this line is lacking in some recensions and is remarkably prosaic; he therefore has omitted it from his translation. Lyall, al-Mufad.daliyydt,vol. 2, p. 72. 53Note that the Kitdb al-aghanT redaction reads hardman for qatTlan(see above p. 368). Another variant is muhriman (consecrated for pilgrimage) for muhdiyan. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 205; Shakir and Harun, al-Mufaddaliyydt, pp. 111-12. 54Ihave preferred the variant reading bi-manbiti (of my stock), as has Lyall, over bi-munyati (of my wish, desire); Lyall, al-Mufa.ddaliyydt, vol. 2, p. 73; Shakir and Htarun, al-Mufad.daliyydt, p. 112. 55Thisline is lacking in Lyall, al-Mufad.daliyydt, vol. 1, p. 206; vol. 2, p. 73. According to Shakir and Harun (al-Mufad.daliyydt,p. 112) some versions end with this verse. 56Lyall,al-Mufaddaliyydt, vol. 2, p. 69. 57Ibn RashTqal-Qayrawani, al-'Umdah ft mahdsin al-shi'r wa-addbih wa-naqdih, 2 vols. (in one book), Muhammad Muhyl al-Din CAbdal-Hamid, ed. (Cairo, 1972), vol. 1, p. 248. 58Shakirand Harun, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, 110; Lyall, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, vol. 2, p. 72. p. 59VanGennep, Rites of Passage, p. 14. 60Shakir and Harun, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, p. 110; Lyall, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt,vol. 1, p. 203; vol. 2, p. 72. 61Shakir and Haruin,al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, 110. p. 62Vidal-Naquet, "Black Hunter," passim; Victor Turner, The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual (Ithaca, New York, 1967), p. 98. 63So binding was the prohibition against killing during the sacred months that if a man saw the killer of his father or brother, he would not so much as speak to him, let alone kill him. Muhammad Shukri al-Alusi, Buliigh al-arabfi macrifat ahwdl al-'Arab, 3 vols., Muhammad Bahjat al-Athari, ed. (Cairo, n.d.), vol. 3, p. 79. 64Shakirand Harun, al-Mufad.daliyydt,p. 112, Lyall, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, vol. 2, p. 73. 65Douglas, Purity and Danger, passim. 66Lammens and, following him, Chelhod, treat blood-vengeance as a form of sacrifice. Henri Lammens, "Le caractere religieux du 'tar' ou vendetta chez les Arabes preislamites," Bulletin de l'lnstitut Francais d'Archeologie Orientale, 26 (1926), 115; Chelhod, Sacrifice, pp. 100-104, 116-20. On the inverse relation between blood vengeance and sacrifice see Suzanne Stetkevych, "The Rithad of Ta'abbata Sharran: A Study of Blood Vengeance in Early Arabic Poetry," Journal of Semitic Studies, 31 (1986), 27-45. 67Shakirand Harun, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, 112. p. vol. 2, p. 73. 68Ibid.,pp. 110, 112; Lyall, al-Mufa.d.daliyydt, 69Stetkevych,"Su'luk and His Poem," p. 677. 70See,for example, the concluding section of the Mucallaqa of Labid, especially lines 75, 77, 87. 7iKhulayyif, al-Shu'ard' al-sa'dlTk, pp. 262-71. 72Gabrieliconcludes that the 60-odd verses of the Ldmiyya do not constitute a proper poem, but rather, form an anthology of the ancient poetic patrimony held together by a single motif: the bitter soul (nafs murrah) of the Azdite brigand poet. Gabrieli, "Ta'abbata Sarran, Sanfara, Halaf al-Ahmar," p. 56. 73Abuial-Qasim Mahmud ibn 'Umar al-Zamakhshari, Kitdb al-'ajab fi sharh Ldmiyyat al-'Arab (includes the al-Mubarrad/Tha'lab commentary) (Istanbul, 1300 H.), pp. 10-75. For another translation see Michael Sells, "Shanfara's Lamiyya: A New Version," al-'Arabiyya, 16 (1983), 5-25. 74Cf. Khulayyif's remarks in al-ShuCara' al-sa'dlTk, pp. 172-73. For a review of the motifs that commonly occur in the final section of the qasidah see Renate Jacobi, Studien zur Poetik der altarabischen Qaside (Wiesbaden, 1971), pp. 65-99. 75Al-Zamakhshari,Kitdb al-'ajab, p. 14. 76Al-Jahiz,al-Hayawdn, vol. 5, p. 40.


Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

77Al-Zamakhsharf,Kitab al- ajab, p. 17. 78Ibid.,p. 31. 79Ibid.,p. 37. 80Itshould be noted that maysir was not an idle pastime, but rather a means of distributing meat, especially in times of hardship or famine. See S. Stetkevych, "Al-Qasidah al-'Arabiyyah wa-tuqus al-'ubur," 71-72; al-Alius, Bulugh al-arab, vol. 3, pp. 53-55. 8Compare with the key elements of the story of al-Shanfara's capture, above, p. 369. 82Al-Marzuqi, Sharh dTwan al-hamasa, vol. 2, p. 838-39; G. E. von Grunebaum, Muhammaden Festivals (New York, 1951), pp. 26-28; Lammens, "Le caractere religieux du 'tar'," pp. 85-86. 83For example, Hamdsiyya no. 165 by Ta'abbata Sharran (al-Marzuqi, Sharh dTwanal-hamasa, vol. 2, pp. 491-98); Mufad.daliyyano. 1, by Ta'abbata Sharran (Shakir and Harun, al-Mufaddaliyyat, pp. 27-31) and Mufad.daliyyano. 20 by al-Shanfara (above pp. 371-73). 84Cf.the Mu'allaqa of Imru' al-Qays, 1. 62; Chelhod, Le sacrifice, pp. 161-62. 85See,for example, Mufaddaliyyat no. 40, 11. 51-60; no. 9, 11. 9-19; no. 38, 11. 9-19; no. 39, 11. 20-31 (Shakir and Harun, al-Mufa,ddaliyyat, pp. 196-97; 50-51; 181-83; 188-89). 86Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred, Patrick Gregory, trans. (Baltimore, 1977), p. 87. The extensive parallels between the suCluk and Girard's interpretation of Oedipus as a surrogate victim (pp. 68-88) warrant detailed elaboration.

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