Paul Mann: "Reading Yehuda Halevi: A Personal Response"


May 19, 2010 | 5:00-6:30 PM | Free & Open to the Public
Humanities 1 Building, Room 210, UC Santa Cruz
Directions and Parking Information

The talk will connect the poems of Halevi with a narrative of Professor Mann’s own journeys toward Jerusalem and Torah.

Paul Mann is Professor of English at Pomona College. He has published a book of poems, Rimbaud in Africa, and two books of critical theory, The Theory: Death of the Avant-Garde, and Masocriticism, as well as articles on Blake, Nietzsche, and translation theory. He is currently working on a five-volume cycle of poems on Jewish themes, inspired by his travels to Jerusalem and immersion in Jewish texts.

Earth’s Delight and Sovereign City
by Yehuda Halevi

Earth’s delight and sovereign city
longing from the ends of the west
for your lovely slopes, a tenderness
stirs within me as I call to mind
your past glory, your dwelling-place
no in ruin. I’d soar on eagle wings

if only to mix my tears with your dust.
I go in quest of you, though dispossessed
of your king, and though the scorpion’s sting
has supplanted Gilead’s balm.
I will kiss and cherish your stones,
your earth sweeter to my lips than honey.


Generous support provided by David B. Gold Foundation. Staff support provided by the Institute for Humanities Research.

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