Monday, September 19, 2011

Draft as a Pah Point

Here is a hierarchic decomposition of my prior draft text - suitable for electronic presentation via Power point or similar

Slide 1
The Psalter kata Bob
A joke

Slide 2
Seeing the Psalter
To open the eyes of the blind
Genesis 3 makes opening the eyes a special experience
Isaiah 35:6 repeats the phrase (only here is it repeated)  אָז תִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינֵי עִוְרִים and psalm 146.8 shows who does the opening of eyes יְהוָה פֹּקֵחַ עִוְרִים
(work on slide 2 - subtlety required)

Slide 3
Seeing the psalms? They're poetry
Language no longer available aurally
Performance practice is at best inferred.
To see is to hear

Slide 4
Three grand principles:
parallels,
recurrence,
and prosody

Slide 5

Parallelisms or the rhyming ideas in the poems are clearest in the performance practice of plainsong and chanting.
Such patterns have been studied under the term, parallellismus membrorum,
coined by Robert Lowth in the 18th century.

For example psalm 18.21 contains two parallel similar thoughts
יְהוָה will reward me for my righteousness
for the purity of my hands he will turn to me

This parallel is in the form a-b-b-a.  There are many variations, a-b-a-b, a-b not b, not a etc etc etc and with trios and more.
(additional examples - without much comment)

Slide 6

Recurrence
A Rabbi Reads the Psalms, Jonathan Magonet
Read the psalms with coloured pencils and circle the words that repeat.

In the case of Psalm 18, verse 21 is itself the top of a frame.


יִגְמְלֵנִי יְהוָה כְּצִדְקִי
כְּבֹר יָדַי יָשִׁיב לִי
21יְהוָה will reward me for my righteousness
for the purity of my hands he will turn to me
כִּי שָׁמַרְתִּי דַּרְכֵי יְהוָה
וְלֹא רָשַׁעְתִּי מֵאֱלֹהָי
22for I have kept the ways of יְהוָה
and I have not been wicked with my God
כִּי כָל מִשְׁפָּטָיו לְנֶגְדִּי
וְחֻקֹּתָיו לֹא אָסִיר מֶנִּי
23for all his judgments are before me
and his statutes I will not put aside from me
וָאֱהִי תָמִים עִמּוֹ
וָאֶשְׁתַּמֵּר מֵעֲו‍ֹנִי
24and I will be complete with him
and I will keep myself from my iniquity
וַיָּשֶׁב יְהוָה לִי כְצִדְקִי
כְּבֹר יָדַי לְנֶגֶד עֵינָיו
25and יְהוָה turned to me for my righteousness
for the purity of my hands before his eyes


Slide 6
Selected recurring words in relative order - psalm 18.19-25

Word and gloss * first usage12345678VsRoot
כצדקי for my righteousness
21צדק
* כבר for the purity of
21ברר
ידי my hands
21יד
ישׁיב he will turn
21שׁוב
* לי to me
21לי
שׁמרתי I have kept
22שׁמר
ולא and not
22לא
* לנגדי are before me
23נגד
לא not
23לא
ואשׁתמר and I will keep myself
24שׁמר
וישׁב and turned
25שׁוב
* לי to me
25לי
כצדקי for my righteousness
25צדק
* כבר for the purity of
25ברר
ידי my hands
25יד
* לנגד before
25נגד

Slide 7

How should one manage the lines in a poem?
2's and 3's.
words in a line,
and lines in a verse,
and verses in a stanza.

slide 8
Enclitic nature of Hebrew.
So psalm 18:21 in Hebrew is
יִגְמְלֵנִי יְהוָה כְּצִדְקִי
כְּבֹר יָדַי יָשִׁיב לִי

7 'words' in Hebrew, 3 and 4 in each of the two lines - 18 'words' in English, 7 and 11 in the two lines.

Grammatical letters are in green. (22 letters, 2 sets)

slide 9
Consequences - for thinking, for presentation, for reading

All the psalms,
Proverbs,
Job,
the Song and other songs within the narrative portions,
all the prophets, and furthermore,
much of the so called prose

also makes heavy use of recurrence within its rhetorical framework

Slide 10
(E.g. Jonah, the whole story organized around 7 words).
Descent
Sea
Fish
Call
Turn
City
Tender Plant

slide 11
the canticles in Luke,
the sermons of Jesus,
and the writing of John.

slide 12
frames and meaning
to apprehend and respond

form follows function
function is obscured by disorder or a failure to perceive the form.

If function or meaning is framed in the original tongue,
then surely we should preserve the frames in translation.


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