Abu Nuwas

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When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.
Rabindranath Tagore
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Abu Nuwas (c.750 - c.810) Arab poet; Libertine homosexual, lived in Baghdad during the reigns of Caliphs Harun al-Rashid and Muhammad al-Amin. His poetry describes a life of debauchery, wine, boys and women.


  • Critic, relent!
    Your hope for repentance
    Will meet with disapppointment.
    For this is the life,
    Not desert tents,
    Not camel’s milk!
    • Diwan, 11-12
  • You, mad to expect repentance,
    Tear your robe all you want;
    I will never repent!
    • Diwan, 11-12
  • I bought abandon dear
    And sold all piety for pleasure.
    My own free spirit I have followed,
    And never will I give up lust.
    • Diwan, 164


The first three lines of one of his poems:

Do not reproach me! For reproach is temptation— And cure me with that which is my ailment (wine).
It (the wine) is yellow, and knows no sorrow— If a rock were to drink it, it would fly with joy.
It is poured by a creature with a vagina, but wearing the clothes of he who possesses a penis (a young woman dressed in men's clothes)— She has two lovers: a sodomite and a fornicator.

To be completed.

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