April is Poetry Month (PoMo) and I’d like to respond to Psalms. A client once advised me to read 5 psalms a day: 1, 31, 61, 91, 121; 2, 32, 62, 92, 122 and so on and see how my poetry was influenced by the reading. Hebrew poetry is translatable because it is special in parallels and chiasms of content, not in rhyme or rhythm. I’ll comment as led and perhaps dabble in poetry inspired by the Psalm of the day. I apologize in advance if a daily psalm is too much (let’s see if I can do it!) and I invite you to comment and to consider what you’d like to do for Po(etry) Mo(nth).
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Reflection: This psalm has a special place in my heart since it was one I memorized as a child. The simile of man like a tree is compelling, especially a tree by a river or stream. But looking at it today I see that the first part, the blessed is the man who does not walk, stand, or sit with the wicked but delights in and meditates on the law of the Lord is parallel to the tree not only in the tree’s having the fruitfulness of access to water (law of God) but also in the tree’s immobility. The tree is firmly rooted and can’t walk off or stand around with others, or sit and scoff. Let’s think about that.
(I tried writing a poem in response, but it wasn’t publishable. Want to try it, yourself?)
All thanks and praise to God!