<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>A copy of a poem, apparently by the wife of the great Spanish poet Dunaš b. Labrāṭ (920-990 CE). In this exchange of poems between the couple, Dunaš’s wife, left behind in Spain with their young baby, expresses her feelings at their separation in a Hebrew poem. Ibn Labrāṭ’s reply, that he remains true to his young wife, follows. Ibn Labrāṭ (920-990 CE) was a Spanish poet, grammarian and commentator who worked in the service of Ḥasday Ibn Šapruṭ, the leader of the Jewish community in Spain. Ibn Labrāṭ had a contentious relationship with his contemporaries, but very little is known about his wife. Her poem - the only known medieval Hebrew poem by a woman - has been praised for its quality and poignancy: Will her love remember his graceful doe / her only son in her arms as he parted? / On her left hand he placed a ring from his right, / on his wrist she placed her bracelet. / As a keepsake she took his mantle from him, / and he in turn took hers from her. / Would he settle, now, in the land of Spain, / if its prince gave him half his kingdom? [translated by Peter Cole]. The couple appear to have separated reluctantly under difficult circumstances, resentfully described in another poem identified as being by Ibn Labrāṭ to his employer: I served you in sorrow, for all your wares are loathsome. / I will glean no grapes, nor will I gather corn. / I betrayed a young wife and sent her a writ of divorce. / I left my home, and abandoned the son that she bore. Ibn Labrāṭ’s response to his wife’s poem: Were you seeking the day of my death when you wrote: / ‘Have you betrayed and abandoned your vows?’ / Could I betray a woman so wise / given by god as the bride of my youth? / Had my heart ever thought to leave you / I would have torn it into pieces. / For those who betray their beloved companion, / God brings down with the trials of foes. / Lions soon will devour his flesh, / and vultures will consume his blood. / Who resembles the stars of dawn […] [translated by Peter Cole]. If Ibn Labrāṭ's wife was responsible for the composition, the poem would be the only known medieval Hebrew poem by a female poet. It is also possible that it was composed by Ibn Labrāṭ himself, with his wife's 'response' presented as a poetic trope.</p></p>
Under the 'View more options' menu you can find metadata about the item, any transcription and translation we have of the text and find out about sharing this image.
The images contained in the pdf download have the following copyright:
This will create a PDF with thumbnail images for all pages, and may take some time for large documents.
The images contained in this document have the following copyright:
This image has the following copyright:
Choose one of the available sizes to download:
This metadata has the following copyright:
Do you want to download metadata for this document?