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(2018) Readings in numanities, Dordrecht, Springer.

Meaning, identity constructions and deconstructions in the song/poem "swift bird", by the andalusian medieval poetess wallada bint al-mustakfi

pp. 115-129

The lyrics of the classic Andalusian Song "Swift Bird "—traditionally considered as a piece of repertory transmitted from generation to generation throughout almost a thousand years—consist on a fierce satiric poem that Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (1001–1091) dedicates to her former lover, the poet Ibn Zaydun (1003–1071), both from Córdoba, the capital of the medieval Muslim Caliphate in Spain. Her implacable criticism of Zaydun's personality in this and other texts is in radical contrast with his reputation and her previous poems, thereby providing with her works a fascinating path of construction and deconstruction of his identity. Metric rhymed—and often sung—poems like "Swift Bird" were already current in Al-Andalus in the 9th century, hundreds of years before the birth of Guillaume IX from Aquitaine (1071–1126), considered the first Western troubadour, and are seen by many as an evidence for the hypothesis that Troubadorism might have an Arabic-Andalusian origin. Nonetheless, if the permanence of many verbal structural features of the syncretic text throughout the centuries seems to be a reasonable and valuable proposition to investigate, a more careful approach appears to be necessary as far as the musical instance of substance is concerned, raising interesting questions to the semiotic study of cultural heritages .

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66914-4_8

Full citation [Harvard style]:

(2018)., Meaning, identity constructions and deconstructions in the song/poem "swift bird", by the andalusian medieval poetess wallada bint al-mustakfi, in O. Andreica & A. Olteanu (eds.), Readings in numanities, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 115-129.

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