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ANGELO MICHELE PIEMONTESE
figured in the Persian Intextus poem
by Angelo Michele Piemontese [La Sapienza,
SUMMARY: After the ancient and mediaeval Latin
literary tradition the carmen
intextum ‘interwoven’ or figuratum
‘figurative’ poem combines letters or words to signify a sentence which
outlines a drawing or an object in accordance with geometrical principles,
rhythmical meters and complex rhetorical devices such as acrostics.
The rhomb / lozenge constitutes
a basic figure in the practices of the intextus
poem and of connected textile arts and heraldic emblems.
The Persian muwashshah
emerges between Eastern Iran and
Transoxiana (early 11th century) as a peculiar sort of
intextus poem. Its
represents the main speech, the thread of a sentence, like a rhomboid
microtext, a short lozengy poem representing a necklace, a belt, a baldric as
outcome. The natural ‘girded rhombic’ pearl of the collar has the shape
of an almond.
In rhetorical terms the muwashshah involves acrostichs, mesostichs, sometimes
telestichs, within the frame of a panegyrical qasida and of a quatrain that appears a poetic form strictly
connected to this practice.
The surveys by the prosodists Rāduyāni (1088), Rashid al-Din Vatvāt (1173) and
Shams al-Din Qeys al-Rāzi (1232) are reported and explained.
The meaningful poems by Movaqqari, Rashidi of Samarqand who fashions an hymn of the stanzaic genre, Varāvini, and other
anonymous authors are fully quoted, translated into English and illustrated
with diagrams and plates.
The short sign-board poem, the long geometrical poem, a sort of
labyrinth having at its core a chess-board, the two-faced or quite symmetrical
twin poem are presented in detail.
After the most typical example given by Qeys al-Rāzi a belt secured
by a rhombic buckle or a lozenge-shaped baldric is figured in the poem that the
represents the standard acrostics technique as well as the main model of the
Persian classical muwashshah.