Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Article

Shi’r By Luce, Mark D.

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1626-1
Published: 02/05/2017
Retrieved: 22 November 2019, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/shir

Article

The journal, Shi’r (Poetry 1957–70) was established in Beirut by Yūsuf al-Khāl and the poet theorist Adunis to save poetry from politics. It emerged as a professional avant-garde monthly journal with a core group of young poets dedicated to poetry and poetic studies. The journal supported poetic experimentation. Shi’r advocated for the prose poem as a way to spark cultural change, believing that innovative efforts were necessary to intellectually modernize the Arab World.

Shi’r rebelled against the ‘committed literature’ (al-adab al-multazim) movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The circle believed this to be ‘a prostitution of art’ to political causes and ideologies. Shi’r was perceived as a subversive cultural movement. It was banned in a number of countries, accused of supporting a culture war against Arab nationalism, and of being funded by the CIA and French intelligence, inter alia.

Shi’r’s poets were more concerned with the post-colonial Arab ‘state of being’ than reforming or overthrowing states. The Shi’r poets adopted the concept of ru’iya or vision theorized in 1959 by Adunis (Ali Ahmad Said) who asserted that modern poetry possessed a mystical or intuitive knowledge that allowed the poet to see beyond. The intention was to liberate Arab consciousness and to liberate it from the qasidah using the Arabic language, to free one’s thinking.

content locked

Published

02/05/2017

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM1626-1

Print

Citing this article:

Luce, Mark D. "Shi’r." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 22 Nov. 2019 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/shir. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM1626-1

Copyright © 2016-2019 Routledge.