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A Panegyric Qaṣīda by Yehuda ha-Levi, Its Antecedent by Shelomo Ibn Gabirol, and Its Afterlife

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the two well-known and often anthologized poems (Panegyric Qaṣīda by Yehuda ha-Levi and Baraq asher ʿeino ke-ʿein bareqet by Shelomo Ibn Gabirol) featuring garden descriptions. The poems, which appear to be genetically related, are presented in new verse translations accompanied by commentary. The artistry of the medieval Hebrew panegyric receives little attention from scholars of literature and virtually none from the reading public, probably because the whole idea of panegyric poetry has become distasteful in modern times. The qaṣīda form in which panegyrics were normally cast required a preamble on a subject other than the praise of the patron or friend to whom the poem is dedicated. (ורע המאורים לכה רעי), by Shelomo Ibn Gabirol, in which the poet takes the audience on a tour of a palace and its gardens, leaving only a few bland verses of praise for the unnamed patron.

Keywords: Hebrew panegyric; qaṣīda; Shelomo Ibn Gabirol; Yehuda ha-Levi

10.1163/9789004267848_023
/content/books/b9789004267848_023
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