When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

Unnamed Referent (Sentimental)

You’ve chosen to write a sentimental poem in which the object of your affection remains anonymous or exists as an abstraction. The next question is whether you’ll follow the template provided by one of the conventional genres for sentimental poetry or whether you’ll compose a poem without a specific type of poem and performance venue in mind. The former mode carries with it an assumption of rules, an appeal to tradition, and the potential for greater prestige and circulation. The latter are general purpose poems: they may be sung to a variety of melodies and they may be hummed in private, sang in public, or recited among friends and family.

What’s your approach?

I’ll stick to a specific template.
I’ll go wherever my mood takes me.

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