Abu al-Ala al-Maarri (äˈbō äl-äläˈ äl-mä-är-rēˈ) [key], 973–1057, Arab freethinking poet. He was born and lived most of his life in Maara, S of Aleppo. He was blind from childhood. Brilliantly original, he became one of the literary reformers who discarded classicism for a modern intellectual urbanity. After 35 he lived a life of seclusion, and with his advocacy of an utterly ascetic purity, his poetry became more stereotyped.
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