Banished from the kingdom of Kindah, the sixth-century prince and poet Imru al-Qays spent much of his life wandering the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula developing the literary genre wuquf ala al-atlal, or “stopping by the ruins.” “The courtyards and enclosures of the old home have become desolate,” he wrote in one verse, “the dung of the wild deer lies there thick as the seeds of pepper.”