Moshe Ibn Ezra: The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry fom Muslim and Christian Spain
Poems from The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry fom Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492, (Princeton University Press).
Translated from the Arabic by Peter Cole.
Weak with Wine
We woke, weak with wine from the party,
barely able to get up and walk
to the meadow wafting its spices—
the scents of cassia and cloves:
and the sun had embroidered its surface with blossoms
and across it spread a deep blue robe.
Let Man Remember
Let man remember throughout his life
he’s on his way toward death:
each day he travels only a little
so thinks he’s always at rest—
like someone sitting at ease on a ship
while the wind sweeps it over the depths.
Men of the world have the world in their heart,
God set it in them when they were born—
it’s a flowing stream that won’t suffice
though the sea becomes its source,
as if its water turned to salt
when a parched heart called out to them—
they pour it from buckets into their mouths
but their thirst is never quenched.
Peter Cole is the recipient of a 2004 PEN Translation Fund Award for The Dream of the Poem: The Hebrew Poetry of Muslim and Christian Spain (Princeton University Press).