This article examines the structural affinity between the traditional Qasīdah and Kitāb al-Zahrah, an anthology of poetry compiled by Muammad Ibn Dāwūd al-Isfahānī (d. 297/910) that consists of one hundred chapters. While the first half is devoted to love poetry, the second half presents a number of different genres, beginning notably with panegyric religious poetry. Here I explore a significant passage in which Ibn Dāwūd justifies his arrangement: love poetry followed by religious poetry. Since this passage presents some ambiguity in Nykl's edition - which is based on the Cairo manuscript containing only the first half of Kitāb al-Zahrah - I have consulted the Turin manuscript, where the anthology appears in full, to propose important emendations for a satisfactory understanding of the anthologist's justification. I show that Ibn Dāwūd arranges his anthology in two halves corresponding to the two sections of the Abbasid panegyrical Qasīdah: amatory opening and panegyric. This potentially makes Kitāb al-Zahrah the only anthology to be based on the traditional structure of Qasīdah.
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- Abbasid panegyric
- Ibn Dāwūd al-Isfahānī
- Kitāb al-Zahrah
- love poetry
- poetry anthologies
- traditional qasīdah