I’ve bumped into a number of Moorish poet-princes, but I’d never heard of poet-princess Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (994-1091). There’s a sensible, sourced account (in Spanish) here, and then there’s this. I had my doubts about Wijdan al shommari, and thought I’d be able to nail him/her on the basis of his/her (?) version of a pome Wallada wrote for her ex:
There are plenty of woodpeckers in these parts, but I didn’t think they were endemic to Andalusia. Wrong again. However, I wonder whether Wallada was thinking, not of a bird she’d heard, but of the Ovid fable of Picus, transformed into a woodpecker by a jealous Circe. The story turns up regularly in C15th Spain (see eg Alfonso Gómez de Zamora, Morales de Ovidio), but I’ve no idea whether it was known before.
(Neither do I understand the following proverb in Hernán Núñez’s collection, published a century later:
If it does indeed mean that the woodpecker betrays himself by his bill, what is the lesson for us? Is it sexual, or do I just need to get out more?)
- Spain, a nation of whores, soldiers and fools?
Spanish entries from the 1811 Dictionary of the vulgar tongue, with some fanciful etymological speculation and a mercifully brief bout of
- Who’ll write me a drinking song?
MG posted this C15th verse the other day, and D suggested but didn’t provide music: Bring us in good ale, and bring
- I had a large farmhouse in the Catalan mountains and I burnt it down
Francesc Pujols’ global taxonomy of women’s caresses.
- Arsing around in 16th century Spain
Vaguely re this, I was surprised to find that medieval Spanish local legal codes are thick with arse. Fueros sometimes proscribe
- Spanish & other languages in Google Print
Via today’s NYT. http://print.google.com accesses exactly the same content as http://print.google.es and delivers the occasional gem (the amount of material published