Live from Cairoston

Country music has impressed me compared to other genres, due to its rich[er] lyrics and story telling. I was amused today, by the motif of beer, wine, whiskey and other intoxicants, that appears in many songs.

This reminded me of the same motif, as it appears in Arabic poetry. Pre-Islamic odes had dedicated sections solely to the praise of khamr, and even after the advent of Islam, religiously tempered poetry, also found ways to appropriate its usage.

Fourteen centuries and an Ocean apart, the Arab and the Cowboy stand side by side, in the vastness of the Frontier; the edge of the settled land, and the edge of their settled human-ness. At the edge, one questions the meaning of life and reflects on their significance. At the edge, man stands as a hinge. Under the blazing sun of Arabia or America, the bottle becomes a necessary companion at times; the third person to stand in between Man and Himself.

Comments on: "Man’s Frontier, from Jahiliya to the Wild West" (2)

  1. I am pleased that you had this thought – I was struck by the same similarity and translated some pre-Islamic poetry into the old West idiom (helped out by a dictionary of old West jargon). It was the same elements that seemed similar to me, too – the appreciation for whiskey, horses, and being confronted by a harsh, dangerous environment.

    • Thanks for your comment! I visited your blog and am intrigued by your detailed translation and analysis of Arabic poetry. There’ so much to take in.
      Thanks for visiting 🙂

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