Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Poetry for the Beginning of the Work Week

For those of us fortunate enough to have yesterday off, anyway. Hope you had a lovely weekend and Memorial Day!

So, Samuel ibn Naghrillah! An Adalusian Jew fluent in both Hebrew and Arabic, he was a Talmudic scholar living in Iberia under Moorish rule circa 1000AD. He was almost unique in that he was an elite of both Jews and Arabs, and he played a huge role in Muslim-Jewish relations. Samuel went from being a shopkeep to being the vizier of the king, and playing kingmaker to the line of succession in order to put the more widely favored candidate on the throne. He made it all the way to the head of the Muslim army, which is not just an astonishing feat for a Jew at that time, but at any time.

He also wrote poetry. I'm not entirely sure when this guy slept.

The Apple 
I, when you notice,
am cast in gold:
the bite of the ignorant
frightens me. 
An apple filled with spices:
silver coated with gold.
And others that grow in the orchard,
beside it, bright as rubies.
I asked it: Why aren’t you like those?
Soft, with your skin exposed?
And it answered in silence: Because
boors and fools have jaws.

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