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The Music of The Prophets

The Music of The Prophets

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a brewer may be as bold as Hector
a brewer may be a Lord Protector
a military leader on the side of Parliament
a simple country gentleman
in a plain cloth suit

This is the story of two peoples
this is the story of two people
Menasseh ben Israel
And Oliver Cromwell

In 1290 the Jews were banished from England. In 1655-1656, Jews once more became a part of British society, returning to the London of Oliver Cromwell, Pepys and Henry Purcell. To commemorate the 350th anniversary of this return, Michelene Wandor has written a sensuous dramatic narrative poem, evoking seventeenth-century London, and telling the story of the two men who made this return possible: Cromwell and Menasseh ben Israel.

Music of the Prophets is the third in a sequence of long poems celebrating the presence of the Jews in England. The text seduces and challenges with a delicacy and flow, combining open-form experiment with a musical delight in counterpoint, irony and wit.

Michelene Wandor is a playwright, poet, short story writer, reviewer, broadcaster, theatre historian and musician. She has taught in Britain at the Guildhall School of Drama, London, the City Lit, London, London Metropolitan University and at various universities abroad and currently holds a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at Birkbeck College, London. Recipient of many awards and nominations, particularly for her radio dramatisations, she is a prolific, and widely published, writer. She is also an accomplished musician, performing Renaissance and Baroque music with her early music group, The Siena Ensemble.

Praise for Michelene Wandor’s previous poetry collection Musica Transalpina“…has a depth of historical and cultural understanding unusual in contemporary British poetry”
Judith Kazantzis