Marrano Poets of the Seventeenth Century

BookMarrano Poets of the Seventeenth Century

Marrano Poets of the Seventeenth Century

An Anthology of the Poetry of João Pinto Delgado, Antonio Enríquez Gómez, and Miguel De Barrios

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization


October 4th, 2007



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The story of the Marranos (the Jewish converts to Christianity in Spain and Portugal) has long been a source of fascination for Jews interested in their heritage and for all those concerned with the struggle for freedom of conscience against authoritarianism. In this volume are presented the selected works of three Marrano poets, together with translations into English and explanatory notes. Each of the three poets is introduced with a biography and brief critical assessment. In a general introduction the editor explains the historical and literary background of their works and examines the inter-relationship between the Jewish and Christian cultural elements. Drawing on a wide range of published and manuscript sources, he gives a balanced picture of the Marranos and describes the process of Jewish re-education they had to undergo in order to reach their goal of integration with authentic Judaism in the Jewish communities outside the Iberian peninsula.

 The three poets—João Pinto Delgado, Antonio Enríquez Gómez, and Miguel de Barrios—are presented against this background as exemplifying three different 'paths to Judaism', which nonetheless have in common the dramatic experience of life under the Inquisition and the halfway house of the Marrano communities. Symbols of exile and insecurity abound. Each poet shares a sense of guilt over his past observance of Christianity and endeavours to reach out towards the authentic sources of the Jewish tradition, such as the Talmud and the rabbinic commentaries, to invest his writings with a greater cultural depth.

 The poems in this volume have been selected with the aim of giving a representative view of each individual poet's experience and particular literary talents. Through the translations and notes the general reader is provided with insight into their significance and purpose. The specialist reader, too, will gain from finding the writings of three little-known poets of similar background brought together for the first time and set in context.

Author Information

Timothy Oelman was born in North Wales in 1943 and studied at Lincoln College, Oxford, and King’s College London, where he took his doctorate in 1976. For a number of years he taught languages in Harrow, Middlesex, and contributed articles to academic journals. In 1986 he published a critical edition of the Romance al divín mártir, Judá Creyente. He has since retired and is pursuing a career as a visual artist.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Half Title 2
Title Page4
List of Illustrations8
The Origins of the Marranos16
Crypto-Jews under the Regime of the Inquisition 19
The Communities outside Spain22
The Tradition of Language27
The Literary Tradition of Spain28
The Jewish Inheritance of the Marranos32
The Marrano Poets39
The Texts and Translations48
1. João Pinto Delgado 50
Tres poemas autobiogràficos55
1 A la salida de Lisboa 55
2 A la despedida de un amigo 65
3 En alabanza del Seńor 75
Poema de la Reina Ester83
El sueńo y lás lastimas de Mardochay83
La triste consolacòn de Amàn91
La oración de la Reina Ester91
Lamentaciones del profeta Jeremias97
Lamentación 1:199
Lamentación 1:12 103
Lamentación 1:13 107
Lamentación 2:6 111
Lamentación 2:7115
La historia de Rut119
Canción, aplicando misericordias divinas y defetos proprios a la salida de Egipto hasta la Tierra Santa 123
2. Antonio Enrìquez Gòmez138
Cuando contemplo mi pasada gloria141
La culpa del primer peregrino151
1 Dialogo de Adan y Eva 151
2 La injusticia en el mundo 159
Sansón Nazareno 165
Sansón encuentra a la tamatea 165
La oración y muerte de Sansón171
Romance al divìn mártir, Judá Creyente, martirizado en Valladolid por la lnquisicion177
3. Miguel de Barrios 220
A la muerte de Raquel223
A la segura confianza223
Real consideracioń del hombre225
La memoria renueva el dolor (Sonetos dobles fúnebres)229
Alabanzajocosa a lay Ley santúfsima en la fábrica de la sinagoga231
Providencia particular de Dios sobre Israel243
Pregón harmónico de! Día del Juicio 251
Acto sexto de contrición 255
Acto sèptimo de contrición 259
lmperio de Dios en el teatro universal Dia primero267
Bibliography of Principal Works Consulted293