Spanish Hebrew Poetry and the Arabic Literary Tradition: Arabic Themes in Hebrew Andalusian Poetry

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Offers an introduction to the history of the Jews of the Iberian peninsula and the political situation of Muslim Spain during the 11th century as well as an introduction to Arabic poetry, its genres and poetical theory, and the relation between Arabic poetry from the East and that of al-Andalus. This book deals extensively with the different Arabic poetic genres and their Hebrew equivalents, focusing on the four main poets Samuel Ha-Nagid, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Moses Ibn Ezra and Yehuda Ha-Lewi. At the end conclusions are drawn about the use of Arabic themes in Hebrew Andalusian poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Choice, 1994.
'Cette étude est importante pour les hébraïsants...mais aussi pour les arabisants...De plus, un tel travail est pertinent pour les catholiques romains...Cette ouvrage s'inscrit donc en bonne place dans l'étude de la littérature andalouse hébraïqye,'
Richard Ayoun, REEH, 1996.
'The chief value of this book will be to increase the accessibility of Golden Age Hebrew poetry to Arabists and general literary scholars, and to serve as a work of reference for students of either body of literature who are interested to find out what the other literature has to say on a given subject.'
Raymond P. Scheindlin.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004098695
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/1993
  • Series: Medieval Iberian Peninsula Series , #7
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Arie Schippers, Ph.D. (1988) in Literature, University of Amsterdam, where he now teaches in the Department of Arabic & Islamic Studies. His undergraduate work was in Semitic and Romance languages at the University of Leiden. He has published several articles on both classical Arabic and Hebrew Andalusian poetry and Arabic and Hebrew literature in general.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Purpose of this study 1
1.2 Genre, Theme and Motif: definitions 9
2 The Poetic Climate in Andalusia in the eleventh century 12
2.1 Has Andalusian poetry special characteristics vis-a-vis Oriental poetry? 12
2.2 The question of originality in Arabic and Hebrew poetry 22
3 The Jews in Muslim Spain 41
3.1 Short history of the Jews in Spain up to the eleventh century 41
3.2 The beginnings of Hebrew Andalusian literature 48
3.3 The four poets: Samuel han-Nagid 52
3.4 The four poets: Solomon ibn Gabirol 56
3.5 The four poets: Moses ibn Ezra 59
3.6 The four poets: Yehudah hal-Lewi 62
3.7 After the four poets 65
4 The Arabic poem: developments, genres, subdivisions 72
4.1 Development of function and contents of the Arabic poem 72
4.2 Stylistic developments: "ornate style' or badi" 76
4.3 Genres and themes in Arabic poetic works 79
4.4 Genres and themes in Hebrew Andalusian poetry 84
4.5 Subdivision into genres within Arabic poems 91
4.6 Subdivision into genres within Hebrew Andalusian poems 97
5 Wine poetry 105
5.1 In Arabic poetry: general introduction 105
5.2 The Introductory formulas of the Wine Poems 107
5.3 The time of drinking: Morning, Night, Spring 110
5.4 The place of drinking: Garden, Palace or Tavern 114
5.5 The Partakers in the Drinking Feast: the Drinking Companions 118
5.6 The pourer of the wine 120
5.7 Musicians, Singers and Dancers 125
5.8 Descriptions of Wine and Wine Cup 129
6 Love poetry 144
6.1 General survey 144
6.2 The weeping of the remnants of the encampment 154
6.3 The seeing of the image of beloved in a vision 162
6.4 Greyness and being too old for love 167
6.5 The leanness of the body caused by the pangs of love 168
6.6 The beloved is dwelling in the heart of the lover 170
6.7 The description of the wounding eyes of the beloved 173
6.8 The contrast between the black hair of the beloved and her/his splendid face 176
6.9 Cheeks like roses with hairlocks as watchmen 178
6.10 The boy's cheeks with juvenile down 179
7 Nature poetry 181
7.1 General survey 181
7.2 Descriptions of the garden as a woman 187
7.3 Wind and river as transmitters of greetings 194
7.4 The dove and other birds 197
7.5 A black-white contrast: the raven and the dove 201
7.6 Description of the heavens, rains, nights, stars, etc 203
8 Description of war 217
8.1 Historical note about the Arabic genre 217
8.2 The immediate cause of the war 221
8.3 Introductory passages of War poems 222
8.4 Description of warfare 223
8.5 Description of the army on the march 224
8.6 Description of weaponry 227
8.7 Description of blood and wounds 228
8.8 Warriors as lions, not dulled by court life 229
8.9 The enemies, their peoples, leaders and strongholds 230
8.10 Death, Fate, Time, God 233
8.11 The description of the defeat of the enemy 234
8.12 Laudatory passages 241
9 Elegiac poetry 244
9.1 Historical Survey of the Arabic and Hebrew marthiyah or ritho 244
9.2 Sadness; participation of the universe in the grief 251
9.3 Motifs of Fate, Time and Consolation 259
9.4 The praising of the deceased 271
9.5 Speaking to the deceased; the benediction of rain on the grave 279
10 Description of poetry 287
10.1 Survey of the motifs in Arabic poetry 287
10.2 Poetry description in Hebrew Andalusian poetry 295
11 Conclusions 311
Bibliography 346
Concordance of Samuel han-Nagid's poems 362
Index 367
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