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Ibn Sahl of Seville
(1212 - 1251) Spain

Ibn Sahl of Seville

Poet

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Ibn Sahl (Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Ibn Sahl al-Isra'ili al-Ishbili) of Seville is considered one of the greatest Moorish poets of Andalusia of the 13th century.

Ibn Sahl was born iin a Jewish family in Seville. Already in 1127 he drew some attention to himself by suggesting of adding a sentence to a poem made by renowned poet. Despite his Jewish family background Ibn Sahl was a devout Muslim. His diwan (collected works) are a testimony to his deep felt religious feelings. Some have criticized Ibn Sahl because he drank wine. The sincerity of his conversion (probably very early in his life), however, was never questioned.

He was a men-lover; here is one of is love poems:

O full moons that arose on the day of departure,
bright, going forth on peril's path:
My heart bears no sin in loving; instead
from you comes beauty; from my eye, the glance.

I rejoice though wounded by passion;
mutuality with my beloved is only imaginary.
Whenever I complain of my passion to him, he smiles
like the hills at the pouring cloud,
When it brings rain to them, like a funeral,
while they, in their joy, are a wedding celebration.

Does the protected fawn know he inflamed
the heart of a lover in which he dwelt,
So that it burns and throbs just like
the firebrand teased by the east wind?

When Seville came into the hands of Ferdinand III of Castile in 1248, Ibn Sahl left for Ceuta, where he became the secretary of the Almoravid governor Abu Ali Ibn Khallas. When Ibn Khallas sent his son to al-Mustanir I, the caliph of the Hafsids of Ifriqiya, he decided to send Ibn Sahl with him. The galley with which they travelled was shipwrecked and all the passengers perished.The governor is to have said about Ibn: "The pearl is returned to the sea."

The diwan of Ibn Sahl contains the most refined examples of Andalusian poetry, almost exclusively love poetry and muwashsahat.

The Moroccan author Mohammed al-Ifrani (1670-1747) wrote a biography of Ibn Sahl.

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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