i’m taking “biblcal poetry & the poetic books” this semester. we study the stylistics and hermeneutics of biblical poetry, which involves translating and interpreting hebrew text. since summer passed i’ve forgotten all my hebrew. there will be many late nights to come.
to start, we needed to observe the nature of poetry, discussing the differences between poetry and prose. we came across an interesting poem by william yeats. crafted in 1918, these lines of carefully chosen words really captured my attention. my heart sadly resonates at yeats’ observation of the second coming, not of xianity but, paganism. he paints a dismal if not critical picture of the xianity. it struck my core but i wasn’t sure why. still i gird myself up, convicted with steely-eyed confidence that the hand our creator still moves. there is nothing here under the sun that is not his dominion ::
The Second Coming — W. B. Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
on art & craft ::.
question to an art major: can you explain what you are painting and why?
he answers: if it could be explained then there would be no need to paint.
if the bible is about 30 percent poetry, what does that suggest about the way we read it and the implications it has for those of us deliver its message?
clearly, it demonstrates to me that there are different ways of delivery. the bible is highly structured, crafted if you will. we’ve grown up with straight answers and presumptions. there is yet splendor, mystery to unfold. we should not reduce scripture to mere intellectual answers. we should never approach its pages without humility, where there is a sense of hesitation, an awareness of our breathing.
why do i need to paint, speak or walk to a different beat? something has captured my heart, where i am left feeling undone. i must respond futiley to something so magnific, so infinite in all manners of expression.