Literary Masterpieces of Muslim Spain | Questions

Question 1

The author of the poem is a woman who is in love with a man. The woman adores the man very much, but the problem is that she has no chance of having him for herself, and thus she has to contend with the imagination of having him physically. The addressee of the poem is a man in a position of authority, who is intelligent and adorable, and capable of influencing others to suit his interests. The addressee is probably a member of a royal family, who is hard for the rest of the society to reach, and with such difficulties, the society has to contend with the mere imagination of ever having physical contact with the man. The historical context of the poem is youth love, where the woman author of the poem loved this man from her youth and has written that love within her heart. This love has grown with her until her old age, but she is still incapable of having the man for herself, probably because he is already dead and she misses him.
The poem applies meter with two-syllable feet that stress two syllables in almost every word of the poem, for example, Lo-rd, Lo-ve, Re-st So-ul. Rhyme has also been applied extensively in the poem, especially the rhyming of the last words of the poem, where for example, inline 35 and 37 and line 36 and 38, there is alternation of sounds ending with sound ‘n’ for line 35 and 37, and sound ‘t’ for line 36 and 38. The poem is divided into three parts, with the first part, line 1-24 speaking of the feelings of the woman towards the man, line 25-79 narrating the history of love and the reasons why the woman loves the man, and line 80-98 being the requests made by the woman to the man.

Question 2

The metaphors applied in these poems simply represent the art of war, most especially regarding how the enemy is subdued after being defeated. They represent the historical contexts of the periods of war between the Muslims and Christians, in a landscape and geographical terrains of agricultural fields and in the natural terrains with natural vegetation and water bodies.
The ripe wheat is used to represent the squadrons of horsemen, who might appear to be ready for the war, but they eventually bow to the defeat by the less seemingly harmful opponent that is represented by the poppies. While the ripe wheat is associated with spikes that are capable of scratching and hurting the skin of a person, the poppies are just beautiful flowers that are smooth and have nothing to suggest they are capable of causing any harm to an individual. Thus, these metaphors represent the nature of wars between the Muslims and their enemies, where the Muslims got into the war looking like the less harmful battalion, but eventually defeated and subdued their enemies, wounding them and making them flee for their safety.
This is the same metaphor applied in the second poem that compares the turtles to Christians, who are very visible during the times there is no war or problems, but when the war comes, they go into hiding, as the turtles dive deep down into the pool to hide, during the winter. Further, the metaphors represent the Christian army as less formidable and incapable of fighting any serious battle, considering that the Christian soldiers have been compared to turtles at play. The Christians wear their leather shields on their backs, but this seemingly preparedness is ineffective during the time of the war. Thus, simply put, the poems represent the nature of the battles between the Muslims ad the Christians, where the Christians always appear the most prepared for the war but are eventually defeated.

Question 3

Boasting in these poems has been applied as a form of self-reassurance that the singer or the poet is relevant in the industry and in fact more than the rest. It is a message that is intended to tell the world that the singer or the poet has an impact on the world in the manner he has been able to deliver his content. While boasting is a vice, it is also a means of self-expression, allowing an individual to tell the world what it is, that the individual thinks of himself, as opposed to the perspective of the others. Thus, through these poems, the individuals could be responding to a feeling of weakness that has been caused to them by others, either based on various social factors, for example belonging to a minority group in the society, which is always underrated.
In this respect, the singers and the poets are probably responding to those who have not appreciated them or those who have been looking down on them, showing them that they are capable in a manner that others might not be. These poems or songs have been crafted carefully because they are delivering a very clear message that is meant to counter a perceived dominance of the poets and singers by others. The songs and poems are crafted in a more straightforward manner, with less hidden meaning, so as to reach the intended audience directly. These poems and songs can be related to other cultural or artistic creations such as paintings, sculptures, and artworks that have been designed by minority artists, in praise of their minority heroes, who may not be appreciated or recognized by the society.

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