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The Power of Poetry

The prominence of the voice in the desert, the spoken word expressed itself in many ways. The Arab language is said to have been developed in the close contact to the camel as center of badu life. The little songs that guided the herds out to pasture and back, and also the marching songs were the starting point of Arab poetry. The words of the poets formed the society. These words were intertribal and transcended the Bedouin world and were later adopted for the holy book of Islam.

The words of the poets shaped an ideal, the poet himself, and to be more precise: the heroic poet-warrior-rider in one person. This was the idol of Bedouin society. And in contrast to other societies which developed a similar ideal, every male member could reach there, even slaves (most prominent example Antara Ibn Shaddad).

The horse (khayl) became the icon of manhood, bravery, strength, glory, happiness, immortality, fertility and vital force, vanity, arrogance, pride and splendor. Thus the horse was the symbol of muru´ah: mature manhood. Many poems presented this symbiotic relationship of poet and horse, both in classical and Nabati poetry. Therefore both poet and his horse were portrayed as united not only in the sphere of body, but also in spirit.

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Stallion Nabeh (Haleem X Nabukah) 1993, Obeyan Saifi at Nejd

Stud in 2011.

Wadi Rum

Al lail w´al khail w´al beida ta´rafuni.

Night and my steed and the desert know me.