AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 2. May   2021                         Pp. 115– 125

Insanity or Inspiration: A Study of Greek and Arab Thoughts on Poetry

Department of Languages and Translation
College of Science and Arts at Al-Ula, Madinah
Taibah University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


The nexus between poetry, insanity, and inspiration is peculiar and can be traced back to earlier centuries. There are many examples in Greek and Arab literature where poetry is believed to have connections with divinity, possession, or even madness. The paper will try to show what Greeks and Arabs thought about the origin and the creation of poetry. It will attempt to show how early mythology and legends of both assign a supernatural or abnormal source to poetry. References from these two cultures will show the similarity in some theories like that of muses and supernatural beings, helping the poet achieve his goal. In order to show the similarity, many Greek and Arab philosophers/poets shall be referred to in the discussion. The methodology used shall be descriptive and analytical in nature.

Cite as:

Bashir, B. (2021). Insanity or Inspiration: A Study of Greek and Arab Thoughts on Poetry.
Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (2) 115– 125.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no2.9


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Burhan Bashir is an Assistant professor at Taibah University in the Department of Languages and Translation at Al-Ula, Madinah. He completed his PhD at Aligarh Muslim University and his MPhil at Jamia Millia Islamia. His research interests lie in the area of resistance literature, contemporary poetry, literary theory, and translation. He has translated poems and short stories from Arabic/Urdu into English. He has also published research papers in various online and print journals.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7735-0832