Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Poetry: Psalm 23, King James Version

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Given the holiday, I thought I would find a nice Easter poem to share today. Take this as a friendly warning - do not go to any of the poetry websites and search for poems about Easter. You will be assaulted with bad poetry. They will range from "humorous" poems about Easter bunnies, through trite religious sentiments all the way to ponderous theological crap. The only decent Easter poem I was able to find was "Easter, 1916" by William Butler Yeats, which is not about Easter at all.

Perhaps Easter would receive more poetical tribute if it rhymed with orange, and thus settled a recurring problem for versifiers.

So, as frustrated by my Easter search as the finder of 11 eggs, I turned to one of my favorite pieces of religious writing, though it comes from what we Christians call the Old Testament, and fails most of my rigid, orthodox tests of what a poem ought to be.

It has no rhyme. It has no articulable rhythm. I didn't learn it in an English class.

But it's as poetic a piece of writing as you'll ever find. It has lent strength to the suffering, and reassurance to those in need. Its images are some of the most famous in the world. Reading it gives me a sense that only great writing can deliver - a sense of being in the presence of something greater than all understanding.

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a typo - you meant to say New Testament but typed Old Testament.

4/12/2009 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect reading for the day. Thanks


4/12/2009 8:25 PM  
Blogger I Travel for JOOLS said...

Beautiful. Happy Easter, Dan.

4/13/2009 8:43 AM  
Blogger Spyder said...

This is what came to mind:

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!

Lo! the Sun's eclipse is over, Alleluia!

Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!

Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!

Christ hath opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!

Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!

Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!

Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!

Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!

Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!

Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!

Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!

Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!

Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!

Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!

Now above the sky He's King, Alleluia!

Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

4/13/2009 11:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home