margavriel (margavriel) wrote,

Menachem bar Machir

In Selichoth this morning, there was a piyyut by Menachem bar Machir (late 11th to early 12th century, Regensburg), אדם בקום עלינו, telling the Purim story. It reminded me quite a lot of the piyyut of his which I'm working on these days, אודך כי עניתני, for Hanukkah. Long, narrative poem, too many words in each line, each stanza ends in a biblical verse, usually from somewhere unconnected to the story. (In the Hanukkah one, only the first stanza ends in a verse from a prophecy about the Hasmoneans, ועוררתי בניך ציון על בניך יון, and in the Purim one, only the last stanza ends in a verse from the Megilla, רוח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים.)

Makes me think that someone should put out an edition of the collected poems of MbM. (Probably not me; I'm more into holidays and rites than individual poets. It's a different way of organizing a book. Both are important.) Davidson lists twenty poems of his, in many different genres (in contrast to many Ashkenazic contemporaries of his, who wrote almost exclusively Selichoth), and I would be surprised if people haven't discovered several more in the past 90 years..
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