Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 April 2021
Kurdish poetry is the predominant and the oldest Kurdish literary genre and continues to play a formative role in Kurdish cultural and political identity. An integral part of uprisings and revolutions, Kurdish poetry has been an active site of resistance and remembrance. Despite its cultural and political significance, however, it has not received the scholarly attention it deserves. Against this backdrop, this chapter offers a brief history of classical and modern Kurdish poetry in the Kurdish dialects of Gorani, Kurmanji and Sorani. Starting with a detailed account of the development of classical poetry and its main trends and conventions, the chapter moves to present a new perspective on the emergence of modern Kurdish poetry, and challenges the established explanation of its emergence. The main stages of the development of modern poetry throughout the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries and its instrumental role in the dissemination of Kurdish nationalism are also discussed.
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