Date of Award

Spring 6-6-2023

Document Type

M.A. Essay

First Advisor

Yasser Elhariry

Second Advisor

Tarek El-Ariss


The essay analyses the value of silence from a Sufi perspective as well as the absence of the "homeland" incarnated by the fall or retreat of cultural and historical landmarks such as Babylon, Andalusia, and Pharaonic Egypt in the poetry of the Sudanese poet Muḥammad ‘Abdālbārī’s (b. 1985). That exploration of silence and absence entails a poetic transformation (the creation of a new world) which calls for clarification. In order to do so, the present paper elaborates a comparison of ‘Abdālbārī with some key elements of Martin Heidegger's poetics, as well as other elements of the literary and conceptual background of ‘Abdālbārī's work, such as the 10th century Sufi poet Muhammad ibn Abd al-Jabbar al-Niffari. As a result, Crescents, and ‘Abdālbārī's work in general, show a rich and philosophically sophisticated poetic structure anchored in the opening of a "worldhood" that, against traditional views of spatiality and temporality, "dwells" in a kind of "homelessness" that has not only the attainment of thought for silence, but also the potentiality for authenticity and truth through absence. The essay calls for more research on Abdalbari’s poetry and its overlap with language, poetics, Sufism, and epidemiology.

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