Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Italian wedding poetry: Shadal's piyyut in honor of a monarch and his consort

I once posted about the excellent JTS Digital site, and the wedding poem in honor of R. Moshe Chaim Luzzatto that I found there (see here).

I discovered an interesting - error? I'm not exactly sure that what follows was placed in the wedding poem section in error, but judge for yourself.

The following description appears for this poem: Wedding poem for Joseph Franz and Elisheva by Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal). The description is no different from the other poems. For example, here is another poem by Shadal in honor of Avraham Shalom and Rosa Cohen (written in Syriac, no less, with Hebrew translation).

Here is the poem in honor of the choson Joseph Franz and his kalloh, Elisheva:

(Click to enlarge)

As you can see, this is not a typical wedding poem for a local couple. Franz Joseph, of course, was the emperor of Austria, and Elisheva was his wife, Elisabeth [Amalie Eugenie of Bavaria]. I guess it's kind of funny that the this is not apparent from the listing.

Can you imagine living in a society where good citizenship and patriotism, or the appearance of that, called for the writing of such poetry?

Here is the poem for Avraham Shalom and Roza Cohen. Note how they become "Avraham Shalum and Roza Chahen," ostensibly in accordance with the requirements of Syriac grammar:

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