Poetry in the Muslim world takes on many forms and touches upon myriad sentiments and sensibilities. Its roots lie in the epic and in romances, oral traditions that flourished in Persia and in the Ottoman and Mughal courts. Today, in Pakistan and India, truck drivers paint their entire rigs—cabs and trailers—with lines from favorite poems; in Turkey, dervishes whirl to the inspiration of Sufi poet Rumi; in Yemen tribesmen conduct negotiations in verse, and the Arabic calligraphy that sets lines on the page in many other Muslim countries is an art unto itself.
From Yemeni tribesmen to Pakistani truck drivers, poetry speaks to Muslim world.
HUMANITIES, November/December 2013, Volume 34, Number 6