Over a number of years I have received much financial, academic, and moral support. For the sponsorship of my original research I am grateful to the James Mew Fund and the British Academy. I am indebted also to Pembroke College, Oxford, and to the Oriental Institute and its staff from whom I have received much and varied assistance both as a graduate student and junior lecturer. Heartfelt thanks are due also to the Fellows of St John's College, Oxford, for electing me to a Junior Research Fellowship and allowing me to complete this project in such supportive and serene surroundings.
For constant encouragement throughout the years, and for his valuable comments on various drafts I am grateful to Professor John Mattock. For thought-provoking conversations, suggestions, readings, and other advice I owe thanks to Dr Jeremy Black, Professor Andras Hamori, Dr Julie Meisami, and Mr Ron Nettler. For her enthusiasm and searching comments I am grateful to my friend Dr Reem Saad; I have fond memories of our discussions.
Some of my reticence about publishing this material has been dis- solved by the fact that it has passed under the eagle eye of my friend and colleague Dr James Montgomery. Similarly, the inspiring expertise and thoroughness of Dr Geert Jan van Gelder has been invaluable. To both scholars for their painstaking help and sundry suggestions I owe a great debt--it is a burden for which I am grateful!
For immeasurable support, guidance, and patience; for making this publication possible on many different levels (including the most backbreaking task of all--producing the Arabic bromides), and perhaps most of all for instilling in me a sense that, in the end, it is the poems that speak best for themselves, I owe my warmest thanks and a debt I cannot repay to my teacher, Alan Jones.
All mistakes and errors of judgement are, of course, my own.