Abu Nuwas

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Abu Nuwas

(ä`bo͞o no͞owäs`), c.750–c.810, Arab poet, b. Ahvaz, Persia. He spent most of his life in Baghdad. High in favor with the caliphs Harun ar-Rashid and Amin, he lived a courtier's life; his exquisite lyric poetry celebrated wine and the extravagance of this life.

Abu Nuwas

 

(al-Hasan ibn-Hani al-Hakami). Born between 747 and 762 in Ahwaz; died between 813 and 815 in Baghdad. Poet. His father was Arab and his mother Iranian. He spent most of his life in Baghdad.

Abu Nuwas was imprisoned by Caliph Al-Amin for violating Muslim law. His poetry broke sharply with the themes and conventional practices of pre-Islamic bedouin poetry, which he systematically ridiculed. He was one of the first poets to infuse fresh vigor into poetic conventions by introducing and systematically developing new themes and subjects, such as urban life, wine (which was prohibited by Islamic law), and hunting. He found a source of inspiration in the cultural tradition of Iran. In his poetry one encounters the names of Iranian historical and legendary heroes and descriptions of the rites and traditions of Zoroastrianism. Abu Nuwas’ work suggests that he belonged to the Shuubids, a cultural and political movement that advocated liberation of the Iranian people from caliphate rule.

WORKS

Divan. Beirut, 1962.
Der Dīvān des Abū Nuwas, part 1. Edited by E. Wagner. Wiesbaden, 1958.

REFERENCES

Fil’shtinskii, I. M. Arabskaia klassicheskaia literatura. Moscow, 1965.
Abbas Makhmud al-Aqqad. Abu Nuwas al-Hasan ibn-Hani. Cairo, 1952.
Wagner, E. Abū-Nuwas. Wiesbaden, 1965.

M. I. ZAND