'Perhaps I Disappointed You': On a Meta-Poetic Poem by Sadī Yūsuf

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The poetry of Sa dī Yūsuf, one of the most prominent modernist Arab poets at the present time, consistently tends to reflect upon his own poetics. Two meta-poetic themes that we can find in Yusuf's works are the complex relationship between the poet and his audience, and the poet's attitude towards tradition and the previous conception of the poetic. This article interprets Yūsuf's poem Mahz ala ('A Farce'), and argues that Yūsuf skilfully employs a kind of double intertextuality. One exists between the poet and the previous generation of poets, which the poet creates by opposing the earlier poetic technique, as described by Harold Bloom. The second, as we discover, occurs between the poet and the reader, as he forces the latter to partake in this act of creation by rejection.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalMiddle Eastern Literatures
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • "Mahzalah"
  • 1900-1999
  • intertextuality
  • Iraqi literature
  • poetry
  • reader
  • Yusuf
  • Sa'di


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