Poetry Study Aid: Abou Ben Adhem: Leigh Hunt
The poem ‘Abou Ben Adhem’ by Leigh Hunt – a short, parable-like poem – advocates the idea that the best way to express your love for God is by simply loving your fellow human beings. Abou Ben Adhem is the anglicized name of one of the most prominent early Sufi saints, Ibrahim ibn Adham. He is a legendary figure whose renunciation of his position as a king to become an ascetic to practise a deeply religious life rejecting the pomp and splendour of royal wealth is magnificently celebrated in the Sufi tradition.
The poem Abou Ben Adhem consists of two stanzas; the first with fourteen lines and the second with four. The two parts of the poem represent the two separate visits from the angel to Abou Ben Adhem and the two forms of love that the poem relates-love for God and love for humanity. The rhyme scheme in “Abou Ben Adhem” is very simple; rhyming couplets are used throughout the poem.
The occasion portrayed in the poem takes place in the bedroom of Abou Ben Adhem over the course of two nights. The poem narrates Abu Ben Adhem waking from a deep peaceful sleep in his room and seeing an angel etching the names of those who love God in a book of gold.… Read More “Poetry Study Aid: Abou Ben Adhem: Leigh Hunt”