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Yishaq ben Mar-Saul
(11th century) Spain

sefardim

Poet

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Yishaq ben Mar-Saul (also spelled Isaac ibn Mar Saúl) was born at Lucena, Spain. He apparently was the first Hebrew poet to have written in this genre. It should be noted that in both Hebrew and Arabic poetry of the period, "gazelle" (sevi) is a metaphore for a young male.

He wrote, about his male lover,

Gazelle desired in Spain
wondrously formed,
Given rule and dominion
over every living thing.
Lovely of form like the moon
with beautiful stature
Curls of purple
upon shining temple.
Like Joseph in his form
like Adoniah his hair
Lovely of eyes like David,
he has slain me like Uriah
He has enflamed my passions
and consumed my heart with fire.
Because of him I've been left
without understanding and wisdom.
Weep with me every ostrich
and every hawk and falcon!
The beloved of my soul has slain me -
is this a just sentence
Because of him my soul is sick,
perplexed and yearning.
His speech upon my heart
is like dew upon a parches land.
Draw me from the pit of destruction
that I go down to Hell.
Gacela deseada en España
prodigiosamente formada,
Tienes autoridad y dominio
sobre todas las cosas vivas.
De forma encantadora como la Luna
con espléndida estatura.
Rizos de púrpura
sobre brillante templo.
Como José en su forma
como Adoniah el cabello
De ojos bellos como David,
me ha matado como Uriah.
Él ha encendido mis pasiones
y consumido mi corazón con fuego.
Por él yo he sido dejado
sin entendimiento y juicio
¡Llorad conmigo avestruces,
gavilanes y halcones!
El amado de mi alma me ha matado
¿Es esta una sentencia merecida?
Por él mi alma está enferma,
confundida y anhelando.
Su palabra sobre mi corazón
es como rocío sobre tierra seca
¡Arráncame del abismo de la destrucción
cuando me pierda en el infierno!
There was much homoerotic poetry in both Arabic and Hebrew writing in Muslim medieval Spain. The basic texts of the Hebrew poets are discussed by Norman Roth in a brilliant article.

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Source: Norman Roth, "Deal Gently with the young man": Love of Boys in Medieval Hebrew Poetry of Spain, Speculum 57:1, 1982, pp. 20-51

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