Wallada (fl. 11th c.)

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Wallada (fl. 11th c.)

Spanish poet . Name variations: Walladah bint al-Mustakfi. Flourished in the 11th century in Cordova.

Wallada, a poet of Spain, came from a ruling Arabic family, the daughter of the caliph of Cordova. She led a rather leisured life and spent most of her years in intellectual pursuits. Wallada gathered around her poets, artists, and scholars from across Arabic Spain, patronizing their works and composing her own verse. Apparently she never married, instead taking lovers as she wished, including Ibn Zaidun, one of early medieval Spain's greatest poets. Able to live fairly independent of male control, she reportedly even refused to wear the traditional veil of her culture. Numerous poems attributed to Wallada have survived; all are part of poetic "conversations" she held with Ibn Zaidun.


Cosman, Carol, ed. The Penguin Book of Women Poets. NY: Penguin, 1978.

Laura York , Riverside, California