In this ultimate metapoetic exchange, the three Abbasid era contenders are aware of their roles as composers of poems and as commentators on that very act at the same time. They address not only each other, but also an assumed audience to whom the Arabic literary tradition is readily available as a backdrop against which the Abbasid q~idah reverberates before it springs forth. And this is metapoesis; a poet's creative response to poetic heritage. It is a state in which a poet is aware of himself as a participant in a project for poetic change but is constantly looking over his shoulder to see how his predeces- sors have done things, to signal references; references against which his rebellion and his contributions become more obvious and meaningful.
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- (no access) - Fakhreddine, Huda J.: Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition, p13
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