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Two Spanish Jewry Sonnets

Two Spanish Jewry Sonnets: An Ode to the Balladeers of Jewry

Allow me to begin an ancient tale
Of woe, sorrow, joy and celebration:
In space and time from whence Spanish Jews hail!
It is a story of tribulation.
Through poetry and Ladino songs
Murmured through the centuries by throngs,
So proud of what once was, is and can be
Through a vision of history, we can see.
Their past, in many places through the ages;
With wisdom transmitted by Sephardic sages;
Bridges to our past and future,
A gallery then lights every picture.
What riches to our children can we transmit?
If we but know how history can be lit.
In May of 1492, I too,
With Columbus, sailed the Ocean blue.
The year of expulsion of the Jews of Spain,
Powerful Isabella then did reign.
Columbus knew that no sailor was I;
But did ensure, I did not die.
For today’s youth to recall Spanish Jewry;
Not to lose to posterity their story.
In poetry, then, I speak of their tale;
For it to remain safe from oppression, since we did sail.
How do I relate their history?
By asking that Spanish Poets be read through their suffering and glory.
On the canvas of history of their lives,
Strong faith through tragic episodes still thrives.
( Meet Spanish Jewish poets, Dunash Ibn Labrat, Solomon ibn Gabirol, Moses ibn Ezra, Samuel Hanagid,
Yehuda Halevi on a bridge through their poetry in time and space.)

About the Author
Michel M.J. Shore is a retired judge of the Federal Court of Canada and recently made a home in Israel. He is the writer of several published books and poetry collections.

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