“Some Remarks on the Muwashshahaat of Abraham ibn Ezra”

by Arie Schippers [University of Amsterdam]

SUMMARY: In this paper some elements of form and contents in Abraham ibn Ezra's strophic poetry will be discussed. Abraham ibn Ezra differs in many respects from his predecessors such as Moses ibn Ezra and Yehudah ha-Levi. As far as the thematic content is concerned, most common wine and love themes are non-existent in Abraham ibn Ezra's poetry. Independent strophic love poems as we saw currently in Moses ibn Ezra's work, are almost lacking in Abraham ibn Ezra's poetry: love in his poetry is almost exclusively connected with the panegyrics on his addressees. Also the formal characteristics of Abraham ibn Ezra's poetry are different from those of his predecessors, for instance with respect to the way in which Arabic is inserted in his Hebrew poems. Some of his forms are innovations, other types of his strophic poetry go immediately back to the schemes of the Hebrew poet Yehudah ha-Levi and Arabic poets such as Ibn Baqi and Ibn Quzman.