Page 172 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 11 (1952-1952)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
166
“ relinquish the songs of foreign gods and sing the songs of the
Daughter of Zion,” he turned to works of original creation. The
results of this effort were embodied in his book entitled:
Shirei
Bat Ziyon
(Songs of the Daughter of Zion) which contained six
large poems of major significance.
These poems deal with biblical and historical characters, which,
though lyrical in form and mood, are epic in character and back-
ground. In them Micah Joseph gives full sway to his great
imaginative powers. On a broad canvass and perspective he
portrays the heroes of our past as perpetual symbols of human life
and of human problems. The poems “Solomon” and “Kohelet”
depicting the two periods of King Solomon’s life, his youth and
old age respectively, vividly impress the reader not only with the
sharp contrast of these periods, but particularly with the abun-
dance of our poet’s colorful imagery as well as with his great
insight into the human soul. Upon reading these poems one feels
as if our emotions become musical instruments upon which the
poet plays his songs of love and longing, youth and spring, joy
and melancholy, winter and death.
In the poem “Solomon” the king’s youth is full of happiness.
Hope and joy are his constant companions. Life is an everlasting
dawn, unobscured by evening shadows. To young Solomon life
is a verdant tree on which every day is a new blossom. Not a care
or worry ever saddens him, for youth’s faith in the future is like
a veil concealing all anxiety. Spring brings the king to the meadows
where he meets Shulamit, “ the most beautiful of maidens,”
“ lovely as the moon, bright as dawn.” The royal youth is
intoxicated by love,
For youth is a flower,
Love is its honey.
Solomon’s harp brings joy to the despondent, for even
The mighty gods bend down to listen
To Solomon’s Song of Songs:
How lovely art thou,
O sweetest of delights!
In “ Kohelet” we have before us a gloomy picture of the sunset
in the life of King Solomon. Skepticism poisons his wisdom and
banishes hope and faith. Life becomes void and lonely and every-
thing is without meaning.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity . . .
“Jael and Sisera” presents the inner struggle of Jael between her
duty to her country and her duty as a hostess to Sisera who came