Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New year's and earlier resolutions

I am still on track in my resolve to publish three verses a day with my commentary on the psalms. The relevant posts are all at the Poetry of Christ, a blog I am keeping clear of flowers (pace Christopher Smart). I also am maintaining my resolve not to publish anything there that I have not let sit for a week or more and that I do not review carefully on publication (with some reservations!). As I publish there, I link here to a reformatted prosodic version of the psalm under study at this blog (see the page The Psalter kata Bob and bear in mind that I am revising all these translations and formats over the next year. As of this date, the reformatting is complete up to psalm 44.)

So it has taken me three months to complete a first draft of Book 1 (psalms 1-41). I am beginning to work on Book 2 and also will be reviewing Book 1 as I publish 3 verses or so a day, i.e. 2 to 3 psalms a week or thereabouts. The story in the psalter is emerging as I write. It is more complex than I thought. Everywhere there is emerging a sense of one person standing for the whole and absorbing the troubles of the world.  I cannot quite put my finger on how this is - but it is. And I know it will immediately be evident in Book 2 in the first three psalms because the 'I' of psalms 42 and 43 clearly becomes the 'we' of psalm 44. And it is evident in other places - e.g. the 3rd chapter of Lamentations, perhaps the most obvious.

Highs and lows aside, I continue to learn. Fishbane and now the SBL Winter 2010 journal are both teaching me about inner-Biblical exegesis. How curious. I am also having to read Samuel. And I discover I can skim in my Tanakh (Hebrew only) while others are reading in English - cool!