Elegy. In Arabic marthiyyah or marthat. A poem written to commemorate the death of a person. The tradition of elegy has strong pre-Islamic roots and continues to flourish today in Arabic and other Islamic languages. The precursor of this tradition in Arabic is the poet al-Khansa, who was famous for her numerous elegies on the death of her brother. Today the function of marsiyyah has been extended to include elegizing entities such as cities, history, or nations.