• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Browse and search Google Drive and Gmail attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) with a unified tool for working with your cloud files. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!



Page history last edited by Megan Motlagh 11 years, 10 months ago



Contributed by Megan Motlagh


Somalian qasida.



The qasida is a laudatory poetic form that came to fruition in pre-Islamic Arabia. While the Greeks popularized the panegyrics of the West, the qasida became the encomiums for the Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, and Persian people. The form also appears in some Asian cultures. The purpose of the qasida is broad; it is used to praise noblemen, it is spoken as a funeral oration, and it is also implemented satirically.[1] Qasidas are also utilized in order for their composers to appeal to authority in political situations. [3] In more contemporary times, “the qasida is the result of the meticulous orchestration of language and idea, and so is mostly produced through writing, and occasionally, lengthy revision.” [3]



Autograph and couplet of Bahadur Shah II, dated 29th April 1844.



The first appearance of the qasida is contributed to the poet Imru’ al-Qays (died c. 500), as well as the general template and standards of what comprises a qasida to this day.[2] The layout of the poem is typically twelve to one hundred lines long, and maintains a consistent end rhyme through the entirety of the piece. The qasida migrated to the Persian culture in the 10th century, where the rhyme scheme all but disappeared and the length of the poem multiplied exponentially.[1]











1. "qasida." © Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

< http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/485544/qasida >

2. "Imruʾ al-Qays." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

< http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/284295/Imru-al-Qays >

3. Flagg Miller, W. "Public Words and Body Politics: Reflections on the Strategies of Women Poets in Rural Yemen." Journal of Women's History 14.1 (2002): 94-122. Indiana University Press.

4. "Indian Qasida 2007." 11 May 2008. Online video clip. YouTube. Accessed on 20 Sep. 2009

< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbO3jTbHTqQ >

5. "Yeh Jo Fizza Nay Ki Nokari Hai (1/2) - Hasan Sadiq Qasida." 21 May 2008. Online video clip. YouTube. Accessed on 20 Sep. 2009

< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6EkRLGlYqA >

Comments (4)

Megan Motlagh said

at 9:05 pm on Sep 27, 2009

I know this isn't directly related to Greek rhetoric, but I stumbled upon it in my research anyway, so I thought it'd be alright if I added it tangentially.

jousas@... said

at 11:14 am on Sep 28, 2009

Wow - this is actually really interesting. I think a common danger for scholars in rhetoric (and other fields) in the West is to assume/focus on our own Western tradition - as Dr. Pullman noted at the beginning and we are all at least peripherally aware - there are traditions in Eastern rhetoric and poetic that are worth studying - even if only to look for similarities and dissimilarities.

The qasida is an excellent example of a potential parallel - I wonder if they had (I am sure they did) a form of epideictic evolve based on this that translates the poetic to the rhetorical.(?)

Andrew D. Barnes said

at 10:43 pm on Sep 28, 2009

When thinking about rhetoric the critic must always consider context. The Greeks certainly took this to heart as the context for their philosophizing about rhetoric had practical and tangible impacts on their lives. The polus, democracy and the need to speak well in public drove the discipline in those times. What do you think are the similarities between Greek and Arabic societies that caused the overlap in rhetorical scholarship?

Megan Motlagh said

at 10:56 pm on Sep 28, 2009

One recurring theme that I noticed while superficially researching qasidas was its use as a broad reflection of a person's life, having more of a focus on the descriptions (farm life, caravans, and warfare, for instance). I didn't do enough digging to figure out the scope of the qasida beyond the strictly poetic, but one article in particular (the reference to a Yemenite women's quasidas) did seem to shift more towards effective speech versus pure poetry. Generally the qasida doesn't seem like the most "serious" form of rhetoric in the aforementioned cultures.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.