Jerusalem the Golden, 1


The Hebrew of your poets, Zion,

is like oil upon a burn,

cool as oil;

after work,

the smell in the street at night

of the hedge in flower.

Like Solomon,

I have married and married the speech of strangers;

none are like you, Shulamite.


--Charles Reznikoff


From The Poems of Charles Reznikoff 1918-1975, Seamus Cooney, ed. (Boston: David R Godine Publisher, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by The Estate of Charles Reznikoff. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.



Click here for information about the web site.


The Poets and Their Poems

Click here for English translations of poems and for information about the poets. You will find English translations of poems by YEHUDA HALEVI, SAMUEL HANAGID, MOSES IBN EZRA, ABRAHAM IBN EZRA, SOLOMON IBN GABIROL, and Joseph ben Tanchum, plus one Spanish translation of a poem by MOSES IBN EZRA. Translators include Israel Abrahams, T. Carmi, Peter Cole, Joseph Davis, Emma Lazarus, Harris Lenowitz, Amy Levy, Alice Lucas, Robert Mezey, Carl Rakosi, Charles Reznikoff, Franz Rosenzweig, Jerome Rothenberg, Nina Salaman, Hayim Sheynin, Solomon Solis-Cohen, Meyer Waxman, Leon J. Weinberger, and Israel Zangwill. Updated 7/6/08.



Click here for full-text articles. Includes survey article by PROFESSOR HOWARD TZVI ADELMAN, note on Hebrew versification by PROFESSOR BENJAMIN HARSHAV, chapter on piyyut by A.Z. IDELSOHN, and little essays and other material on individual poets. Updated 7/6/08.


Further Reading

Click here for basic and specialized reading lists. Updated 7/6/08.


Events and Classes

Click here for information on where to find classes.


Archives, Libraries, and Organizations

Click here for information about where to find books and manuscripts.


Acknowledgments and Sources

Click here for the names of individuals and publishers acknowledged for their help with, or contribution to, this site.



Click here for information on how to submit articles, translations, and other material to this site.



Click here to learn how to send feedback on the web site.


About the Editor of This Site

Click here for a brief bio. of the web site editor.



Click here for links to other web sites with information on medieval Hebrew poetry. Updated 7/6/08.

Modern Spain/medieval Spain (l to r): Court of the Lions at the

Alhambra in Granada; statue of poet Solomon Ibn Gabirol in Málaga;

site of medieval market in Toledo, now a cafe; statue of translator

Yehuda Ibn Tibbon in Granada; typical narrow street in Jewish




Greetings and welcome to, a web site dedicated entirely to medieval Hebrew poetry. Currently the site includes poems by five important Spanish-Hebrew poets and by one Egyptian-Jewish poet. Thank you for your interest. is a web site devoted to Hebrew poetry composed primarily from the fourth to the eighteenth centuries, with an emphasis at least for now on the period from the tenth to the twelfth centuries, the so-called Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain.


In this site you will find information on the poets, their poems, and their poetry, in addition to general articles, bibliographies, and visuals, along with other relevant information.


The intended audience for the site includes general readers, poetry lovers, teachers, librarians, and scholars. Right now the site is geared more toward the first two categories; as the site develops, the emphasis will broaden to include the other categories. However, general readers and poetry lovers will always have a home here, since one of the missions of the site is to encourage the publication, in translation, of more poems and poets. For although in the 25 years since T. Carmi published his classic Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse we have begun to see what might be termed a renaissance in the publication of English translations of medieval Hebrew poetry, Carmi’s anthology still contains the widest selection available of medieval Hebrew poets. And this, in spite of the existence of tens of thousands of published and unpublished medieval Hebrew poems.


It is hoped, therefore, that the site will satisfy the general reader’s and poetry lover’s curiosity about medieval Hebrew poetry, broaden the audience for the poetry, and stimulate greater interest in the academic study of medieval Hebrew poetry. (Note: Please feel free to link to this site, but please do not copy poems, articles, or other material into another site, since much of the material on this site is copyrighted and permission has been granted for use on this site only. Thank you.)


Henry Rasof

Louisville, CO


1Legend: Andalucia: Center of Islamic presence in Spain during the time of the medieval Jewish poets. ■Cities associated with poets whose poems are represented on this web site as of 12/21/06. Birthplaces: Tudela (Abraham Ibn Ezra and Yehuda Halevi), Málaga (Solomon Ibn Gabirol), Granada (Moses Ibn Ezra), Córdoba (Samuel Hanagid). ●Other cities that had important medieval Jewish presence and that are on the Jewish Spain “Routes of Sepharad” tour. ♦Other important or interesting Spanish cities.