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Collections of homonym poems in medieval hebrew literature

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Chapter Summary

Arabic and Hebrew poets used homonyms as ornaments in their writings. The use of homonyms eventually gave rise to a new literary genre in medieval Hebrew poetry in Spain with Moshe ibn Ezra's Sefer ha-'anak and continued in the East in the thirteenth century. It reappeared many years later in the sixteenth century in Turkey. This chapter deals with the various collections of homonyms written in Medieval Spain and in the East. It describes the many forms of structure that order these collections and explains the different means poets used to create these homonyms. The chapter tries to answer the questions: Why did all these Hebrew poets go to so much trouble to compose collections of homonyms, and why did they devote so much effort to enhancing and diversifying the structure of these collections?.

Keywords: Arabic poets; Hebrew poets; medieval Hebrew poetry; medieval Spain; Moshe ibn Ezra; Spain



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