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A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry / Edition 1

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1992 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 558 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Annemarie Schimmel, one of the world's foremost authorities on Persian literature, provides a comprehensive introduction to the complicated and highly sophisticated system of rhetoric and imagery used by the poets of Iran, Ottoman Turkey, and Muslim India. She shows that these images have been used and refined over the centuries and reflect the changing conditions in the Muslim world.

According to Schimmel, Persian poetry does not aim to be spontaneous in spirit or highly personal in form. Instead it is rooted in conventions and rules of prosody, rhymes, and verbal instrumentation. Ideally, every verse should be like a precious stone—perfectly formed and multifaceted—and convey the dynamic relationship between everyday reality and the transcendental.

Persian poetry, Schimmel explains, is more similar to medieval European verse than Western poetry as it has been written since the Romantic period. The characteristic verse form is the ghazal—a set of rhyming couplets—which serves as a vehicle for shrouding in conventional tropes the poet's real intentions.

Because Persian poetry is neither narrative nor dramatic in its overall form, its strength lies in an "architectonic" design; each precisely expressed image is carefully fitted into a pattern of linked figures of speech. Schimmel shows that at its heart Persian poetry transforms the world into a web of symbols embedded in Islamic culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An original work significantly contributing to a deeper understanding of the metaphorical style and the multiplex allusions of Persian poetry.

Heshmat Moayyad, University of Chicago

From the Publisher
An original work significantly contributing to a deeper understanding of the metaphorical style and the multiplex allusions of Persian poetry.

Heshmat Moayyad, University of Chicago

Booknews
An introduction to the highly sophisticated system of rhetoric and imagery used by the poets of Iran, Ottoman Turkey, and Muslim India. It reveals that common images have been used and refined over centuries and reflect changing conditions in the Muslim world. According to the author, Persian poetry does not aim to be spontaneous in spirit or highly personal in form. Instead, it is rooted in conventions and rules of prosody, rhymes and verbal instrumentation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807820506
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 558
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Annemarie Schimmel (1922-2003) was a renowned German scholar of Islam and author of eighty books, including And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety and Mystical Dimensions of Islam.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Chronological Survey of Poets Mentioned in This Book
A Note on Transliteration
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Formal Requirements of Persian Poetry 17
1 Meter and Genres 19
2 Rhetorical Rules 37
Pt. 2 Themes from History, Literature, and Legend 53
3 Koranic Themes 55
4 The Pillars of Islam and Related Concepts 87
5 Themes from Early Islamic Times 99
6 Themes from Pre-Islamic Times 107
7 Themes from Islamic History 123
8 Ideal Loving Couples 129
9 Turk and Hindu 137
10 Poetical Geography 145
Pt. 3 The Book of Nature 153
11 Stones 155
12 The Garden of Delight 161
13 The Language of the Birds 177
14 Fantastic Beasts and Other Creatures 191
15 The Sky, the Wind, and the Sea 201
Pt. 4 Themes from Life and Letters 217
16 A Two-Colored Brocade 219
17 The Art of Calligraphy 227
18 From the Scholar's Bookshelf 245
19 Playing with Numbers 255
20 Colorful Things from the World around Us 263
21 Entertainment, Music, and Festivities 271
22 Courtly Games and Pastimes 283
23 Dreams, Reality, and Bells 291
Appendix 303
Notes 325
Bibliography 449
Index of Koranic Quotations 491
Index of Authors and Works 493
Index of Technical Terms and Concepts 507
General Index 523
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