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Chapter Summary

The collection of Elʿazar’s poetry is impressive; it contains more than four hundred secular compositions, with a striking preponderance of panegyrics, laments, homonymic poems, epigrams, and about fifty religious hymns giving specific evidence of Elʿazar’s personal spirituality and mysticism. The extant dīwān contains a fragmentary short poem, reminiscent of Ibn Gabirol, without any allusion to a specific liturgical context. The major part of the dīwān shows that Elʿazar was panegyrist to dignified patrons who offered him the opportunity to write poetry for his living. In the surviving part of Elʿazar’s dīwān a large number of poems are introduced as a marthiya, or a lament upon the death of some well-known person or one of his family members, and forming a distinct genre of its own in qaṣīda-form with conventional motifs and structure.

Keywords: dīwān; Elʿazar; epigrams; homonymic poems; Panegyrics; religious poems



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