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Abu Dhabi launches poetry encyclopaedia website

posted on 18/12/2008: 2144 views

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) has announced that it will soon launch a website that serves as the latest issue of the poetry encyclopaedia, to coincide with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, held on March 2009.

The fourth edition of the encyclopaedia, whose publishing rights are owned by ADACH, will include: 2,693 poetry collections (which mount to 2,890,301 verses or 138,641 poems). In addition, it will have 1,081 books on scientific, literary and historical heritage. Many of the original poetry collections have been provided with huge additional content. For example, the third edition Ahmed Shawqi's collection had 376 poems (11,724 verses), while the fourth edition includes 776 poems (16,517 verses).

Work on the poetry encyclopaedia began in 1997 and the National Library launched the first edition in 1998, which included nearly 180,000 verses of 88 poets, in addition to the Arabic dictionary 'Lisan Al Arab' (the Arab tongue) of Ibn Mandhour.

The second edition, published in 2001, included more than 1,000,300 verses, of 1,000 poets, in addition to 46 literary books and 3 dictionaries. The third edition, published in 2003, included 2,300 poetry collections (2,439,589 verses), in addition to 365 books and literary references, including ten dictionaries.

Jumaa Al Qubaisi, Director of the National Library, said ADACH was keen that the poetry encyclopaedia, in its new look, remains committed to the high refined taste of its Arab readers, in its collections of selected Arab poets - old and new. The poetry encyclopaedia did not set as a pre-condition of only including previously published poetry collections as its editors believe that many glorious poets, whose poems can be found in different places, did not have their poetry collections published, while not every poet whose work has been fully published means that his/her work is of a valuable significance.

There are books that deal with the poetry of some of the Arab tribes, like 'Sharh Ashaar Al Huthayliyeen' (Explaining the Poetry of the Huthail Tribe) by Al Sukri and 'Ashaar Bani Al Abbas' (Poetry of the of Abbasids) by Al Souli.

Some books focus on the poetry of a certain country or region, such as 'Al Durra Al Khatira Fi Shuaara Al Jazzera' (On Poets of the Arabian Peninsula) by ibn Al Qattaa Al Saqli.

There were books that focused on the poems of people belonging to certain religion or sect, like 'Shuaara Al Nasraniya' (Christian Poets) by Lewis Shikhou, 'Al Taliaa Fi Shuaara Al Shia' (Shiite Poets) by Al Samawi, and 'Shier Al Khawarij' (Khawarij Poets) by Ihsan Abbas.

Some books focused on female poets only, while others only dealt with a certain type of women poets, like 'Al Imaa Al Shawair' (Woman-slave Poets) by abi Faraj Al Asfahani.

As it would be unfair to exclude these poets just because they do not have their own separate collection, the encyclopaedia was divided into two main sections; one for poets who have their own published selection of poetry, and another for poets whose work appears with other poets. The encyclopaedia also provides a search engine to help researchers.

The fourth edition of the poetry encyclopaedia will be available online for all visitors of the ADACH website. Researchers and specialists are encouraged to submit their comments on the content or form of the publication. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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