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Hebrew Poems from Spain$
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David Goldstein

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113669

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113669.001.0001

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A Note on the Translations

A Note on the Translations

(p.9) A Note on the Translations
Hebrew Poems from Spain

David Goldstein

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explains the translation of the selected Hebrew poems of the Spanish Jews. Biblical references play a large part in these poems. The making of poetry in Muslim lands was a far different exercise from the making of poetry today. It was predominantly an intellectual, formally precise, operation. Indeed, the metres of the Arabs, adopted by the Jews, were complicated and varied. Rhyme-schemes likewise required the skill of an artist in mosaic for their perfection. Practically all their poems were rhymed. Because of the structure of the semitic languages, whose nouns have possessive suffixes, and whose verbs likewise are conjugated partly by the changing of word-endings, it was not a difficult matter for Jewish and Arab poets to write long poems based entirely on one rhyme.

Keywords:   Hebrew poems, Spanish Jews, biblical references, rhyme, semitic languages, Jewish poets, Arab poets, Hebrew poetry

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