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Judah Halevi - Summer

             Judah Halevi's medieval Hebrew lyric, Summer, overflowing with imagery and imagination, cleverly illustrates the earth and her best season. Halevi's use of similes, metaphors, personification, and diction all contribute to the beautiful picture created. Halevi used the simile and metaphor primarily in comparing the earth to a young girl or bride. "Like a secluded bride in winter, whose soul longs for the coming of love's time" (ll. 3-4) describes earth's patient waiting for the arrival of summer, the season of love and happiness. "Like a girl who delights in her finery and raiment" (l. 8), he sees the earth sharing her gifts of beauty, radiance, and color schemes with all. All smile under the warm rays of her sun, and witness new life, and growth, among the gardens and the fields. Her flowers bloom, "blushing, like the sweetheart kissing her beloved" (l. 14) and her fruit, "cold as snow" (l.19) to the touch, "burn as hot as fire" (l. 20) when eaten. These berries transform like the human spirit does with the changing of the seasons; they thaw from the inside out. Once again, Halevi notes the importance of the sun and new beginning in this portrait: "the wine, like sun, is rising" (l. 21), comparing the sun, this time, to the start of the season's wine production. Besides the sun, rain still lingers from preceding spring showers: "drops spilling from the clouds that scatter round like strings of pearls" (ll. 25-6). Halevi's best use of the simile here fixes an exact picture in every reader's mind, a strong writing technique to bring the words to life. He summarizes summer's arrival declaring: "Here is paradise" (l. 17).
             Throughout the lyric, the use of personification also assists in bringing each moment to life with action, sound, or visual word aids. From the opening "The earth sipped the rains" (l. 1), the earth takes has characteristics of the young girl, drinking up the rainfall, into the still dry soil.

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