Friday, February 18, 2011

Keeping ahead of myself

I wondered how I would manage the construction of a 'book'. Here's the status report.

There are a lot of mechanical things to do before you can really let the text speak and hope for a creative response in your 'self'. The translation has to be 'reviewed'. I do this is several stages:

  1. read it, 
  2. pay attention to the questions that rise up in you, 
  3. check the word and phrase usage in the one poem especially repeating roots, fix the ones that are wrong, 
  4. rework the original translation post:  
    • a. translation, 
    • b. recurring roots and the glosses in this poem, 
    • c. below the horizontal line, any music 
    • d. delete the old list of all recurring roots, delete the old translation and transcription (stuff transcriptions except for individual phrases for readability in the text) 
    • e. take the resulting html which is a pile of junk and delete all the spurious stuff in it.
  5. Mechanically during this process I am also formatting the translation and recurring roots from the database into an outline in Open Source. 
  6. Eventually in that outline, read the psalm again and decide where the strophe boundaries are. I am largely doing this conceptually and subjectively based on who is speaking about whom to whom in the psalm. Sometimes the recurrence structure is more important.
I have all the base outlines, 150 chapters prepared. I am up to psalm 58 with a first review of these outlines.  I am up to psalm 52 and still working on it with a complete draft. I am up to psalm 15 on the Poetry of Christ blog.  So I am lagging by 37 psalms - letting them cook before publishing the draft. Even when published it is still somewhat subject to change if I find an important note.

As I review each chapter in detail, I often discover serious concordance issues that must be addressed. Concordance is not the only factor but it is one that makes me search backwards and forwards to deal with textual allusions that I think must be allowed to stand in English.

So 20 days ago I was 32 poems ahead in draft of the published draft. Now I am 37 poems ahead. I have drafted a little over a third of the 'book' in three months. So I will probably be finished a full draft by Christmas 2011. Isn't that nice? Who wants to read and critique it? You are allowed to volunteer. There are fewer gross errors than there were three months ago.

You know why I am doing this, don't you?  It is for the excellency of the knowledge of ...

נָכוֹן לִבִּי אֱלֹהִים
נָכוֹן לִבִּי
אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמֵּרָה
8
My heart is set O God
my heart is set
I will sing and I will make a psalm
עוּרָה כְבוֹדִי
עוּרָה הַנֵּבֶל וְכִנּוֹר
אָעִירָה שָּׁחַר
9
Be roused my glory
Be roused psaltery and harp
I will rouse the dawn
אוֹדְךָ בָעַמִּים אֲדֹנָי
אֲזַמֶּרְךָ בַּלְאֻמִּים
10
I will give thanks to you among the peoples O Lord
I will sing a psalm among the tribes
כִּי גָדֹל עַד שָׁמַיִם חַסְדֶּךָ
וְעַד שְׁחָקִים אֲמִתֶּךָ
11
for great to the heavens is your loving-kindness
and to the clouds your truth
רוּמָה עַל הַשָּׁמַיִם אֱלֹהִים
עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדֶךָ
12
Be high in the heavens O God
over all the earth your glory
(from psalm 58)