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Poetics And Poetry

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Chapter Summary

The extent of Elʿazar ben Yaʿaqov ha-Bavli’s interest in contemporary Arabic poets has been known since 1952, when Shraga Abramson discovered the first fragment of Elʿazar’s Judaeo-Arabic treatise on the subject in the Genizah collection of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Elʿazar’s theoretical work certainly fills a gap, since not many writings on Hebrew literary theory have survived from pre-modern times. Although Elʿazar made up a list of metres in his tractate on Hebrew poetics, his personal oeuvre demonstrates an intrinsic relationship between metre and poetic language. The effects of metrical structures and rhyme words on Elʿazar’s poetic language are considerable and find expression in a number of different grammatical and syntactical usages.

Keywords: Elʿazar ben Yaʿaqov ha-Bavli; poetics; poetry



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