Sunday, August 31, 2014

A secret kept

A secret kept

by Judah Al-Harizi

Translated by David Goldstein

The girl brought me into the house of love.
She was as pure and perfect as Abigail.
When she took off her veil she revealed a form
That put to shame the beauty of Esther.
Her light shone in the darkness, made everything tremble.
The hills started to dance like rams.
I thought; ‘Now our secrets are discovered.’
But she stretched out her hand like a woman of strength
And enveloped me with her jet-black hair.
So the day was immediately turned into night.

Yehuda Alharizi, also known as Judah Alharizi- was a rabbi, philosopher, poet and traveler active in Spain in the Middle Ages ( 1165 in Toledo – 1225 in Aleppo). He was supported by wealthy patrons, to whom he wrote poems and dedicated compositions. His most famous treaties-Makama Tahkemoni- is divided to fifty chapters. The chapter 46 is called Moznei ha-Dor (The Appraisal of the People) and includes his travel to the East and within the East. The last point in his journey was Aleppo where he resided and passed away in 1225. 

This poem is  beautiful and it reminds me of  the poems written during the golden age of  Andalusian Arabic poetry. 

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