Poem for an anonymous Moorish Poet on the defeat at Seville November 1248

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We have eaten rats during this seige
The Spanish want us to acquiesce to Christian suzerainty.
They never tell us why we should do so
We have our music, poetry, wine, gardens and our beautiful women.

And beauty gives us light, like lamps do to one travelling in the dark.
Makes one wake up, notice a sparkling jewel,
A pearl from the deeps of a distant ocean
A rarity of dreams: a new order.

A passion that is large, and does not fade,
Beats in heart-harmony :
As tears slip down like rain;
Your body wracked by childbirth and war.

Christian indifference breaks hearts:
Stars burn in her eyes,
In the depth of night
She is alight.

She loves her garden,
Spreads of colour, heavenly perfume, 
All is as summer dictates,
Mirroring my state of mind;
Desire might extinguish me.

Man, you must wait for a woman
Sometimes for a whole lifetime
Or for longer still - far and distant -
The world is sick of injustice -
Heaven knows. We must help each other
Die before the walls fall


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John Marks

Sun 25th Jul 2021 14:06

Thank you Greg and Keith. The Moorish civilization was crushed by barbarous Christians just as the beauties of Byzantium were defiled by barbarous Muslims. It is not religion which makes civilization but people.

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Greg Freeman

Sun 25th Jul 2021 10:57

Agree with Keith, John. A remarkable poem.

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keith jeffries

Sun 25th Jul 2021 10:19


This poem captivated my mind and soul. Is the illustration of Plaza de Espana in Seville? Maybe so but as I read each line I was drawn to the Al Hamra Palace in Grenada and the Generalife gardens which surround it. The Moors settled and created a culture of immense wealth and beauty. This, I am compelled to read again and again.

Thank you for this


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