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The Dream of the Poem : Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 - Peter Cole

The Dream of the Poem

Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492

By: Peter Cole (Translator)

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Published: 2nd January 2007
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Hebrew culture experienced a renewal in medieval Spain that produced what is arguably the most powerful body of Jewish poetry written since the Bible. Fusing elements of East and West, Arabic and Hebrew, and the particular and the universal, this verse embodies an extraordinary sensuality and intense faith that transcend the limits of language, place, and time.

Peter Cole's translations reveal this remarkable poetic world to English readers in all of its richness, humor, grace, gravity, and wisdom. "The Dream of the Poem" traces the arc of the entire period, presenting some four hundred poems by fifty-four poets, and including a panoramic historical introduction, short biographies of each poet, and extensive notes. (The original Hebrew texts are available on the Princeton University Press Web site.) By far the most potent and comprehensive gathering of medieval Hebrew poems ever assembled in English, Cole's anthology builds on what poet and translator Richard Howard has described as "the finest labor of poetic translation that I have seen in many years" and "an entire revelation: a body of lyric and didactic verse so intense, so intelligent, and so vivid that it appears to identify a whole dimension of historical consciousness previously unavailable to us." "The Dream of the Poem" is, Howard says, "a crowning achievement."

Winner of the 2010 TLS Risa Domb/Porjes Translation Prize, Jewish Book Council Winner of the 2007 R. R. Hawkins Award, Association of American Publishers Winner of the 2007 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Humanities, Association of American Publishers Winner of the 2007 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Literature, Language, and Linguistics, Association of American Publishers Winner of the 2007 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry Finalist for the 2007 National Jewish Book Award in Sephardic Culture Peter Cole, Winner of a 2010 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters "Virtually stagnant since late Biblical times, Hebrew poetry and the language itself would be transformed by a succession of poets of genius and their imitators. In Peter Cole's rich new anthology, the extent of their astonishing achievement is fully revealed for the first time in English... His versions are masterly."--Eric Ormsby, New York Times Book Review "Perpetually astonishing. The central figures in Peter Cole's anthology are great by any standards... [They] provoke love in any reader of Hebrew literature, and by [a] miracle of Cole's own creation, in any reader of little or no Hebrew who directly confronts the work of this major poet-translator... Superb."--Harold Bloom, New York Review of Books "The book is a treasure trove, a labour of love and exceptional erudition, which will open up to the reader a world of poetry and culture as rich as anything in human civilization."--Times Literary Supplement "...[Cole] has performed an enormous service and produced a book which is by turns moving, charming, and funny. No one after this will be able to write a book on medieval poetry without taking the Hebrew and Arabic poets of Spain into account."--Gabriel Josipovici, Times Literary Supplement "Meticulously edited and captivating anthology... [P]oetic scholarship at its best... [A] major translation project."--Marjorie Perloff, Bookforum Praise for Peter Cole's Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol and Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid (both Princeton):"Cole's translations ... shimmer: they convey the power and mystique of the original."--Choice Praise for Peter Cole's Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol and Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid (both Princeton): "Fresh, worldly, intimate, and wise."--Booklist Praise for Peter Cole's Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol and Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid (both Princeton): "Cole's vigorous inventive translation is equal to the task of rendering [the] work [of a poet] whose range encompassed commerce and God, war and wine. HaNagid emerges as a man of identifiably modern--even enlightened--breadth, even as the rest of Europe languished in its Dark Ages."--Publishers Weekly "Traversing five centuries, four hundred poems, and fifty poets, the anthology represents a remarkable literature that evolved and flourished between the East and the West, between sacred and the profane, and amid the collision and collusion of traditions, religions, and languages ... all bolstered by Cole's extensive introductions, biographies, commentary, and glossaries."--American Poet "Peter Cole offers us an unprecedented gift, bringing to life a body of Hebrew poetry that, wrote Harold Bloom, can at its best 'rival the magnificences of Scripture'...[Cole's] achievement in bringing us this volume is as death-defying an act as any ever undertaken by the poets he presents within its pages."--Esther Allen, Bomb Magazine "The Dream of the Poem offers English readers a substantial, unfailingly elegant anthology of medieval Hebrew poetry in translation. Overall, it is a remarkable achievement... [I]t brings to life a world we have long yearned to share more eloquently with those who could not read it for themselves."--Susan L. Einbinder, Speculum "The anthology appears in a series devoted to translated poetry, and is designed to be accessible to general readers. Yet it is also suitable for use as a course book: there are helpful introductions and annotations, and the publisher has made the Hebrew originals available on-line. The book is a true labour of love, and should win new readers to this wonderfully rich body of poetry."--Nicholas De Lange, Journal of Jewish Studies "Seldom if ever has medieval Iberian literature received such attention from the English-speaking academic world, much less the larger American reading public, and it speaks to the importance of Cole's translations, which have given voice to this material in a way that other translations have not. For scholars of Spanish literature these translations are important in that they make accessible to non-Hebrew speakers a large body of Judeo-Iberian poetry, some of it not previously available in translation."--Michelle Hamilton, Bulletin of Spanish Studies "The book constitutes a milestone that will not be easy to surpass. May this book inspire the next generation of researchers to develop further research aims in Medieval Hebrew literature!"--Arie Schippers, Review of Middle Eastern Studies

To the Readerp. xxi
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Introductionp. 1
Muslim Spain (c. 950-c. 1140)
Dunash Ben Labratp. 23
Fragmentp. 24
Blessing for ap. Wedding24
Drink, He Saidp. 24
The Wife of Dunashp. 27
Will Her Love Remember?p. 27
Yitzhaq Ibn Mar Sha'ulp. 28
A Fawn Sought in Spainp. 28
Yosef Ibn Avitorp. 30
Lament for the Jews of Zionp. 31
A Cursep. 32
A Pleap. 33
Hymn for the New Yearp. 33
Yitzhaq Ibn Khalfounp. 35
Love in Me Stirsp. 35
A Gift of Cheesep. 36
Shmu'el Hanagidp. 37
On Fleeing His Cityp. 38
The Miracle at Seap. 40
The Applep. 44
The Gazellep. 45
Jasminep. 45
In Fact I Love That Fawnp. 45
Mixed in Spainp. 46
Your Years Are Sleepp. 46
The House of Prayerp. 47
The Critiquep. 48
On Lifting the Siegep. 49
The War with Yaddayirp. 50
On the Death of Isaac, His Brotherp. 53
First Warp. 58
I'd Suck Bitter Poisonp. 59
Delay Your Speechp. 59
The Richp. 59
People Welcome the Richp. 60
If You Leave a Long-Loved Friendp. 60
You Who'd Be Wisep. 60
When You're Desperatep. 61
It's Heart That Discernsp. 61
He'll Bring You Troublep. 61
Could Kings Right a People Gone Badp. 61
What's Familiar Is Sometimes Distancedp. 62
One Who Works and Buys Himself Booksp. 62
Three Thingsp. 62
Soar, Don't Settlep. 62
Man's Wisdom Is in What He Writesp. 63
Be Glad, She Saidp. 63
The Multiple Troubles of Manp. 63
Gazing through the Nightp. 64
Earth to Manp. 65
The Child at One or Twop. 65
I Quartered the Troops for the Nightp. 66
Luxuries Easep. 66
Why Repeat the Sinsp. 67
At the Treasuryp. 67
Know of the Limbsp. 67
You Mock Me Nowp. 68
Time Defies and Betraysp. 68
The Marketp. 68
Yosef Ibn Hasdaip. 70
The Qasidap. 71
Shelomo Ibn Gabirolp. 74
Truth Seekers Turnp. 75
I'm Prince to the Poemp. 76
Prologue to The Book of Grammarp. 76
They Asked Me as though They Were Mystifiedp. 77
See the Sunp. 78
On Leaving Saragossap. 78
My Heart Thinks as the Sun Comes Upp. 81
Now the Thrushesp. 81
Winter with Its Inkp. 82
The Gardenp. 82
The Fieldp. 83
The Beep. 83
I'd Give Up My Soul Itselfp. 84
Be Smart with Your Lovep. 84
All in Redp. 85
You've Stolen My Wordsp. 85
The Altar of Songp. 85
The Penp. 86
If You'd Live among Menp. 86
I Am the Manp. 86
Heart's Hollowp. 88
I Love Youp. 39
Before My Beingp. 90
Three Thingsp. 90
I Look for Youp. 91
Open the Gatep. 91
The Hour of Songp. 92
Send Your Spiritp. 92
Angels Amassingp. 93
And So It Came to Nothingp. 94
He Dwells Foreverp. 95
Haven't I Hidden Your Namep. 97
Lord Who Listensp. 98
I've Made You My Refugep. 98
You Lie in My Palacep. 99
From Kingdom's Crownp. 99
Yitzhaq Ibn Ghiyyatp. 111
My Wanderingp. 112
Yosef Ibn Sahlp. 114
The Fleasp. 114
Your Poem, My Friendp. 115
A Complaint about the Richp. 115
Levi Ibn Altabbaanp. 117
Utter His Onenessp. 117
Exposedp. 118
Bahya Ibn Paqudap. 119
Duties of the Heartp. 119
Moshe Ibn Ezrap. 121
Weak with Winep. 122
The Gardenp. 123
Bring Me My Cupp. 123
A Shadowp. 123
The Fawnp. 124
The Garden, the Miserp. 124
The Penp. 125
Heart's Desirep. 125
That Bitter Dayp. 127
Let Man Rememberp. 127
The Dovep. 127
Why Does Time Hound Me Sop. 128
Ancient Gravesp. 128
If You See Mep. 129
Ivory Palacesp. 129
The Worldp. 130
My Heart's Secretp. 130
I Roused My Thoughts from Slumberp. 130
Let Man Wailp. 132
On the Death of His Sonp. 132
The Blindp. 133
The Gazelle's Sighp. 133
Goldp. 134
The Day to Comep. 134
At the Hour of Closingp. 135
Yosef Ibn Tzaddiqp. 137
A Wedding Night's Consolationp. 137
Lady of Gracep. 139
Shelomo Ibn Tzaqbelp. 141
Lines Inscribed on an Applep. 142
Note to a Suitor Now Perplexedp. 142
A Fawn with Her Lashesp. 142
Yehuda Halevip. 143
That Night a Gazellep. 145
A Doe Washesp. 146
If Only Dawnp. 146
That Day while I Had Himp. 146
Another Applep. 146
To Ibn al-Mu'allimp. 147
If Only I Could Givep. 147
Epithalamiump. 149
When a Lone Silver Hairp. 149
If Timep. 150
Inscriptions on Bowlsp. 150
Four Riddlesp. 150
Departurep. 150
On Friendship and Timep. 152
Slaves of Timep. 154
Heal Me, Lordp. 154
True Lifep. 154
The Morning Starsp. 155
His Thresholdsp. 155
Where Will I Find Youp. 155
You Knew Mep. 156
A Doe Far from Homep. 156
A Dove in the Distancep. 157
You Slept, Then Trembling Rosep. 158
Love's Dwellingp. 158
Lordp. 159
If Only I Could Bep. 160
Won't You Ask, Zionp. 162
My Heart Is in the Eastp. 164
How Long Will You Liep. 164
Heart at Seap. 165
My Soul Longedp. 167
Has a Flood Washed the Worldp. 167
In the Heartp. 168
Above the Abyssp. 168
Time Has Tossed Mep. 168
Be with Mep. 169
Along the Nilep. 169
This Breezep. 170
Christian Spain and Provence (c. 1140-1492)
Avraham Ibn Ezrap. 173
Fortune's Starsp. 174
How It Isp. 175
A Cloakp. 175
The Fliesp. 176
World Poetryp. 176
All the Rest Is Commentaryp. 177
The Floodp. 177
Reading Exodusp. 177
The Miracle (at Lehi)p. 177
Pleasurep. 177
In Placep. 177
The Wedding Night, Continuedp. 178
An Ancient Battlep. 179
Lament for Andalusian Jewryp. 181
Elegy for a Sonp. 182
My Hungerp. 184
Sent Out from the Gloryp. 184
Lord, I Have Heardp. 184
My Godp. 185
To the Soulp. 185
Blessed Is He Who Fearsp. 186
I Bow Downp. 188
Children of Exilep. 189
I Call to Himp. 189
You Whose Hearts Are Asleepp. 190
Yitzhaq Ibn Ezrap. 192
On the Death of Yehuda HaLevip. 193
Over His Boyp. 194
Conversionp. 195
Yosef Qimhip. 196
Love for the Worldp. 197
Always Be Vigilantp. 197
Consider Thisp. 197
Suffer Your Sorrowp. 197
On Wisdomp. 198
If You Hear Someone Insult Youp. 198
Wait and Be Savedp. 198
Wealthp. 199
Silence and Speechp. 199
Yosef Ibn Zabarap. 200
Sweet and Sourp. 201
My Exp. 201
Look at These Peoplep. 202
The Physicianp. 202
Anatoli Bar Yosefp. 203
The Test of Poetryp. 203
Mottop. 204
Yehuda Ibn Shabbetaip. 205
From The Offering of Yehuda the Misogynistp. 206
Pharaoh's Wisdomp. 206
The Misogynist in Lovep. 206
A Raised Offeringp. 207
Two Thingsp. 207
The Sage Liesp. 207
Yehuda Alharizip. 208
Born to Basenessp. 209
The Hypocritep. 210
The Jerkp. 210
A Miser in Mosulp. 210
The Miserp. 211
On Zion's Holy Hillp. 211
Boys: Two Poemsp. 212
If Amram's Sonp. 212
An Answerp. 212
Masters of Songp. 212
Measure for Measurep. 212
A Lover Wanderedp. 213
How Long, My Fawnp. 213
Curses' Compositionp. 213
A Flashing Swordp. 214
Palindrome for a Patronp. 214
A Poem No Patron Has Ever Heardp. 215
Admiration for the Patron Again I'll Provep. 215
Two Poems on Karaismp. 215
Forp. 215
Againstp. 216
Virtuep. 216
I'll Set Out a Verse and Lay the Foundation...p. 216
Ya'aqov Ben Elazarp. 218
The Hypocrite's Beardp. 219
Four Poems on Subtle Lovep. 220
The Doep. 220
A Kissp. 220
A Lover's Transgressionp. 220
Spats and Squabblesp. 220
Avraham Ibn Hasdaip. 221
Watch Outp. 222
ProPortionp. 222
Age as Authorp. 222
Which Is More Bitterp. 223
The Lying Wordp. 223
The Monk's Advicep. 223
Advice for a Future Kingp. 223
Wisdom's Mantlep. 223
Don't Believep. 224
The Hyssop and the Cedarp. 224
Meir Halevi Abulafiap. 225
Plea for a Tax Breakp. 226
(L)attitudep. 226
Fighting Timep. 226
Yitzhaq Hasnirip. 227
On the Worship of Wood and a Foolp. 228
Meshullam Depierap. 229
The Poetp. 230
On a New Book by Maimonidesp. 230
Before You Take Up Your Penp. 230
How Could You Press for Songp. 231
As One with the Morning Starsp. 232
Moshe Ben Nahman (Nahmanides)p. 233
Before the World Ever Wasp. 234
From "One Hundred Verses"p. 237
Shem Tov Ibn Falaqerap. 240
Career Counselingp. 241
A Mysteryp. 241
On Poets and Poetryp. 241
Why God Made Youp. 242
The Fool Thinksp. 242
Poverty's Warp. 242
Yitzhaq Ibn Sahulap. 243
The Cynic Speaksp. 244
On Humilityp. 244
Avraham Abulafiap. 245
From The Book of the Letterp. 247
Avraham Ben Shmu'elp. 252
To Whom among the Avengers of Bloodp. 253
Yosef Giqatillap. 254
The Nut Gardenp. 255
Todros Abulafiap. 256
I've Labored in Lovep. 258
She Said She Wantedp. 258
The Day You Leftp. 258
That Fine Gazellep. 259
They Fight with Me over Desirep. 259
That Girl Emergedp. 259
May My Tonguep. 259
There's Nothing Wrong in Wanting a Womanp. 260
Strong Poet, Weak Poetp. 260
Plaster and Pearlsp. 261
Nothing Left to Sayp. 261
Teachers and Writersp. 261
Before the Kingp. 262
My Kingp. 262
Poems from Prisonp. 262
As Love Livesp. 262
Treacherous Timep. 263
The Filthy Lay in Darkness with Mep. 263
My Rings Have Fallenp. 263
Is It the Lordp. 264
Time Tries as I Driftp. 264
The Sea Casts Up Mire and Mudp. 264
On a Bible Written by Shmu'el HaNagidp. 265
Time Spreads Its Netsp. 265
Old Age Is Double-Edgedp. 266
Perversion's Pigeonsp. 266
My Thinking Wovep. 266
The Lord Is Good and So I'm Tormentedp. 267
Defiled and Pure Are Onep. 267
On Hearing Church Bellsp. 267
I Take Delight in My Cup and Winep. 268
Nahump. 270
Winter Has Wanedp. 270
Avraham Habedership. 272
Why the Poet Refuses to Fightp. 273
Your Musep. 273
Lament for a Foep. 274
The Poet's Distressp. 274
Yitzhaq Hagornip. 275
Would You Tell Mep. 276
HaGorni's Lamentp. 276
Yedaya Hapeninip. 278
The World Is a Raging Seap. 279
Avner [of Burgos?]p. 281
The Last Words of My Desirep. 282
Qalonymos Ben Qalonymosp. 284
On Becoming a Womanp. 285
Yitzhak Polgarp. 287
Faith's Philosophy' Philosophy's Faithp. 288
Shem Tov Ardutiel (Santob de Carrion)p. 289
From The Battles of the Pen and the Scissorsp. 290
Writer, You Holdp. 290
To Praise the Penp. 291
Tomorrow I'll Writep. 291
Enter the Scissorsp. 291
Work I Was Cut Out to Dop. 291
The Pen Fights Backp. 292
The Scissors Longedp. 292
Shmu'el Ibn Sassonp. 293
Man's Perilp. 294
Why Most Poets Are Poorp. 294
They Will Be Triedp. 296
Moshe Natanp. 297
Prisonp. 297
From "The Ten Commandments"p. 298
Clothes Make the Manp. 298
Shelomo Depierap. 299
Thinkers with Thinkingp. 301
The Bee and the Grumblerp. 301
Medieval Arthritisp. 301
Winter in Monzonp. 302
After Conversionp. 303
Tabernacles: A Prayerp. 303
A Prayer for Rain and Sustenancep. 303
This Year's Wine: 1417p. 304
Vidal Benvenistep. 305
Advice from Wivesp. 306
What Girls Wantp. 306
To a Poet-Friend Too Much in Needp. 307
Poems for a Doe in a Gardenp. 307
A Thank You Notep. 308
Think about Thisp. 308
Beyond Wordsp. 308
My Son, before You Were Bornp. 309
To One Who Said His Heart for Verse Was Adamantp. 309
Clarityp. 309
What Goes Around Comes...p. 309
The Tongue Speaks and the Hand Recordsp. 310
Shelomo Halevi (Pablo de Santa Maria)p. 312
Memory's Winep. 313
Shelomo Bonafedp. 314
World Gone Wrongp. 315
A Vision of Ibn Gabirolp. 317
Wherever You Gop. 318
Yitzhaq Alahdabp. 320
Inflationp. 320
Another Fleap. 321
Securityp. 321
The Elderly Asked if the Doctorsp. 321
As Sorcerers Spreadp. 321
Being Poorp. 322
State of the Art; or, Poetry Wailsp. 322
Renaissance Manp. 323
Moshe Remosp. 326
Last Wordsp. 327
'Eli Ben Yosef [Havillio?]p. 330
Who Soarsp. 330
Moshe Ibn Habibp. 331
Accountp. 332
You Come to the House of Godp. 332
Sa'adia Ibn Danaanp. 333
Enmity Smoldersp. 334
Hordes of Readersp. 334
Mixed Messengerp. 334
She Trapped Mep. 334
Chiasmus for a Doep. 335
Notesp. 337
Glossaryp. 527
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691121956
ISBN-10: 0691121958
Series: Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 576
Published: 2nd January 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.77