In Abū Nuwās there is a forceful direction of attitude which holds some of his khamriyyāt together, and sets them cumulatively against religious conservatism.159 If in Abū l˓Atāhiyaal-dahr is given a pious direction, in the wine poem this direction is reversed. To this extent one is justified in speaking of two tiers of transcendence--two orders. Abū Nuwās˒ Yā sāḥir al-ṭarf posed the question, poems such as ˓Afā l-muṣallā and Yā bnata l-šaykhi ṣbaḥī-nā bear the question out in different ways within the particular context of individual poems. The spirit of indulgence highlights the transcendence of al-dahr, suggesting that in the early "Abbāsid period, as indeed before, there were two contrary ways of responding to the transcendence of al-dahr. Furthermore, several poems have shown the artistry of the poet in constructing the whole poem around or towards this essential notion.
The literary antagonism in the poetic voices which emerges between the khamriyya and the zuhdiyya introduces the subject of the next chapter.
turāth dīnī and turāth thaqāfī, both of which Abū Nuwās sets himself against. However, I would suggest, even this division isolates the parts of the poem too much; for there is mockery of religion implicit in the mockery of the aṭlāl. To understand this we need to appreciate the levels of time invested in the traditional image, and how the different significances of time might have affected variously the protagonists of the poem. "The miserly (scilicet religious) man (al-bakhīl al-mu˒min bi- l-bukhl) feels that worldly time is oppressive and slow. The drinker, on the other hand, sees in the present moment an incorporation of absolute time . . . intoxication draws all time into its presence" (ibid. 174). One should add that the fundamental spirit of indulgence is that time is forgotten--wine escapes awareness of al-dahr; the pious man, however, is only too aware of al-dahr hence his fear of death and judgement. "The aṭlāl section of the ancient qaṣīda was of great importance for in it were crystallized the poet's views on time and death" (ibid. 175). We should add that wine always fitted into this system. In fact, Abū Nuwās is at once rejecting the old world-view (archaic literary attitudes) and accepting it (the old world-view of al- dahr, which is encapsulated by ˓Amr b. Kulthūm Muallaqa and which encouraged heroic recklessness not pious fear).