Imru-ul-Quais is one of the most famous poets of the pre-Islamic period.
... Imru-ul-Quais, often spelled in our letters, which differ widely from
Arabic forms, Amrulkais. He was a prince, who by his passionate devotion
to affairs of love so angered his father, the sheik, or king, of the tribe,
that Imru-ul-Quais was banished to the solitary life of a shepherd. He thus
escaped the destruction which came upon all his people in a bitter tribal war;
and he was left a tribeless wanderer. He came finally, about the year 530,
to the court of the great Greek-Roman emperor Justinian, at Constantinople;
and there the poet-wanderer was much honored. Tradition says he was put
to death by torture for winning the love of a princess of Justinian's family.
Mohammed declared Imru-ul-Quais to be the greatest of the Arab poets; and
the poet-prince is said to have been the first to reduce to a regular-measured
rhythm the wild individual chanting of the earlier desert-singers.
Some of his work is included in the The Hanged Poems
Another discussion: Did Muhammad Plagiarize Imrau'l Qais?
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