by Judah Al-Harizi
Look: the sun has spread its wings
over the earth to dispel the darkness.
Like a great tree, with its roots in heaven,
and its branches reaching down to the earth.
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to headline like this:
SUN DISPELS DARKESS
But it’s not news and it will never be news because it happens every day. A poem like this makes it a wonder all over again. The sun and its rays an upside-down tree? I’ll carry that image around with me all this gloomy October day.
I left the picture at the sublime Lake of the Clouds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Rabbi Judah Ben Solomon Al-Harizi (1160-1230) was a doctor, poet and translator. He was born in Spain in the Middle Ages. His works are well-known, but his personal life is not. All I can report is that he translated Aristotle into Hebrew, traveled throughout the Middle East, and was supported by wealthy patrons.