A quarterly specialized journal
The Message Of Folklore from Bahrain To The World

Innovation in Sufi Folk Poetry

Issue 23
Innovation in Sufi Folk Poetry

This paper attempts to examine Milman Parry and Albert Lord’s Oral Formulaic Theory, which they applied to Yugoslavian epic poetry. This scholar tries to apply the same theory to contemporary Sufi poetry, an important literary genre despite the fact that it is shorter than epic poetry.

The paper also aims to highlight the ways in which Sufi sects exchange creative forms of Sufi poetry and other innovative forms of folk literature associated with Sufism.
Sufi singers, the guardians of Sufi poetry, sing poems published in Sufi anthologies such as Safe’ Al Ashiqin and Al Anwar Al Bahiyyaha Fi Madh Khayril Bariyyah, in addition to the poems of Ibn Al Farid, Ibn Arabi, Busiri and other major Sufi poets. Sufi singers also sing poems from Sufi oral resources. The singers have invented new ways of performing by adding gestures to the traditional invocation.
Singers learn how to perform by listening to and emulating their Sheiks in a kind of collective meditation.
This paper highlights the singers’ innovations with regards to oral forms of Sufi poetry by studying and analysing:
Sufi folk poetry
The historical background of Sufi poetry
The literary creative forms of Sufi poetry
The different innovations

Ibrahim Abdul Hafiz

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