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Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol (Forgotten Books) Paperback – 2 Feb 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (2 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605067563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605067568
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,122,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

About the Author:

"Solomon ibn Gvirol, also Solomon ben Judah was an Andalucian Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher. He was born in Malaga about 1021; died about 1058 in Valencia.

Little is known of Gabirol's life. His parents died while he was a child. At seventeen years of age he became the friend and protege of Jekuthiel Hassan. Upon the assassination of the latter as the result of a political conspiracy, Gabirol composed an elegy of more than 200 verses. The death of Hai Gaon also called forth a similar poem. When barely twenty Gabirol wrote "Anak," a versified Hebrew grammar, alphabetical and acrostic, consisting of 400 verses divided into ten parts. Of this grammar, ninety-five lines have been preserved by Solomon Parhon. In these Gabirol reproaches his townsmen with their neglect of the Hebrew language.

Gabirol's residence in Saragossa was embittered by strife. He thought of leaving Spain, but remained and wandered about. He gained another friend and patron in the person of Samuel ibn Nagdela, whose praises he sang. Later an estrangement arose between them, and Nagdela became for a time the butt of Gabirol's bitterest irony. All testimonies agree that Gabirol was comparatively young at the time of his death, which followed years of wandering. The year of his death was probably 1058 or 1059." (Quote from wikipedia.org)

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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 April 2009
Of all the Jewish medieval poets & philosophers who flourished in the golden age of Andalucian culture, Solomon ibn Gabirol was the greatest. This collection of devotional poetry was translated into English verse by Israel Zangwill from a critical text by Professor Israel Davidson who was an authority on Hebrew poetry and Jewish liturgy.

It is introduced by Davidson who provides biographical information and discusses the nature and impact of Gabirol's timeless work, as well as those of his contemporaries. Born in Malaga in 1021 or 1022, Solomon was a prominent philosopher and poet, and a contemporary of El Cid, Spain's national hero. He belonged to the third period of Hebrew poetry in Spain.

Orphaned at a young age, Gabirol spent his formative years in Saragossa and began his literary career when he was about sixteen. He was supported by patrons, first Yekutiel then Samuel HaNagid. His other literary works include Biblical exegesis, Hebrew grammar, philosophy & ethics. More than 300 poems survive, half secular and half religious. Written in Arabic, only two of his more than 20 books on ethics and philosophy have survived, one of which is the famous Fountain of Life (Fons Vitae).

The influence of the Sefer Yetzira on his poetry is marked, and his lyrics have a permanent appeal to the emotions, aspirations and yearning of mankind. Davidson quotes from Moses ben Ezra and Harizi, two medieval critics who appreciated his work.
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