Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi
Biography of Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi
Abu at-Tayyib Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Mutanabbi (Arabic: أبو الطيب أحمد بن الحسين المتنبّي Abū aṭ-Ṭayyib ʾAḥmad ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Mutanabbī) (915 – 23 September 965) was an Arab Iraqi poet. He is considered as one of the greatest poets in the Arabic language. Much of his poetry revolves around praising the kings he visited during his lifetime. Some consider his 326 poems to be a great representation of his life story. He started writing poetry when he was nine years old. He is well known for his sharp intelligence and wittiness. Al-Mutanabbi had a great pride in himself through his poetry. Among the topics he discussed were courage, the philosophy of life, and the description of battles. Many of his poems were and still are widely spread in today's Arab world and are considered to be proverbial.
His great talent brought him very close to many leaders of his time. He praised those leaders and kings in return for money and gifts. His powerful and honest poetic style earned great popularity in his time.
Al-Mutanabbi was killed because one of his poems contained a great insult to a man called Dhaba al-Asadi (Arabic: ضبة الأسدي Ḍabba al-ʾAsadī). Dhaba, along with his Uncle Fatik al-Asadi (Arabic: فاتك الأسدي Fātik al-ʾAsadī), were determined to kill Al-Mutanabbi because of that poem which contained a great insult to Dhaba. They managed to intercept Al-Mutanabbi, his son Muhassad (Arabic: محسد Muḥassad), and his servant near Baghdad. Ibn Rachik reported that when Al-Mutanabbi wished to flee, his servant awkwardly reminded him of his bold verses; Al-Mutanabbi resolved to live up to them, fought, and died along with his companions in 965.
Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi Poems
Strong Resolves Come
Strong resolves come in proportion to men of determination, and noble deeds come in proportion to magnanimous men.
Courage to reason second place must take. For valour should not balanced judgment shake.
Night fell; your favor never falls, your sight's more suited to the eye than being shut
To Sayf Al-Dawla
Resolutions are measured against those who make them; generosity in accordance with the giver. Littleness is magnified by small men, while grandeur is deprecated by the great. Sayf al-Dawla imposes upon the army his will, yet seasoned armies cannot achieve it. He asks from men all that he has in himself, though even lions would not claim to match that.
My Heart Is Aflame
My heart is aflame, burning with love for you While your heart is frigid-cold toward me
Beautiful women, as experienced men know, Are but darkness wrapped in dazzling light aglow.
Sleepless Over Sleepless
Sleepless over sleepless I had life dramatically My pains increase and my eyes shed tears periodically. The hardship of ardent love hurts me extremely. Only sleepless eye remains and poor heart throbs constantly.
A Young Soul
A young soul in my ageing body plays, Though time's sharp blades my weary visage raze.
One By Sixth Or Sixth By One
Is it one by sixth or sixth by one? In which our tonight is dependent on. Little Bear and Great Bear seemingly have gloomily showing. On the bowl of the sky, appear as unveiled maidens at mourning.
Dark Is The Day
Dark is the day before it's seen; an adjective's untrue until it's verified by sight, & since
A Face To Face Encounter With A Lion
Behold a rosy lion! when seeking out a lake to drink His roar resounds as far as the Euphrates and the Nile River
Cowards see vapid impotence as sense, Such is treacherous villainy's defense.
Defiantly live, or in honour die, Midst slashing blades and banners flapping high
A Charger's Saddle
A charger's saddle is an exalted throne. The best companions are books alone.
My Heart Is Aflame
My heart is aflame, burning with love for you
While your heart is frigid-cold toward me
You think so lightly of me, treating me with such indifference
My soul is sickened, my body debilitated
Why should I conceal a love that has consumed my body
When pretenders fake the love of Saif-Al-Dawlah
If what brings us together is our common love for you
I wish we would meritoriously share your bounties
Each according to the love he harbors for you