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Dafari, J. A. (1966) Humaini poetry in South Arabia. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The subject of this thesis is Humaini Poetry in S. Arabia - a style of prosody which evolved from the pre-Islamic rudimentary tasmit, and after a long struggle reached its destined goal of symmetrically-placed rhymes running throughout the whole poem. Specifically, the term humaini is applicable to the muwashshah style, that is, to any poem structurally divided into abyat (strophes) or fusul (sections), bound together by a master-rhyme which closes every bait, or fasl. The term, however, is sometimes used in an extended sense, and came to embrace the form rhyming ab ab ab, etc. The chief attraction of humaini lies in its formal excellence; and in nothing is this more apparent than in the use of rhyme. Elaborate systems of rhyme schemes have been used, and tazfir (which is the breaking of a line into three or four, and possibly more, short rhyming verse-sections) is sometimes practised. Of all the rhyme patterns that were manipulated by the S. Arabians, only two were widely appropriated. The first rhymes aaaa bbba, etc.; and the second, abababab cdcdcdab, etc. - both of which were transposed into the regular alternation bait-tawshih-taqfil. Taken together, these three forms compose the corpus of humaini. Humaini is essentially a style of poetry designed for singing. It is distinctively lyrical in character, and delights one's aesthetic sensibility mainly by its music - by skilfully devised rhyme arrangements, by well-chosen, though contracted, selection of diction, by metrical formulas of great variety, and by the spontaneous (or intentionally reserved) use of lahn. The lahn in humaini is mainly restricted to the omission of vowel-case-signs and using a sukun instead, and/or to the savouring of the poem with colloquial words and expressions. This kind of lahn is so characteristic of humaini that it came to he known as "tariqat muwashshah ahl al-Yaman" and "tariqat al-humaini al-Yamani.".

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

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