Saturday, April 2, 2011

Poetry and Allusion

Getting it right seems exceedingly difficult. Teachers receive a sterner judgment. I am astray  like a sheep that has perished.  All who see me ridicule me.

Yes - perhaps ridicule is good - but if it is to be ridicule then there must be ridicule in Psalm 2 as well.

Here's the data below. In my next post I will cast the net wider.

StemTranscriptionHebrewPsalm verseEnglish
לעג L`Gיוֹשֵׁב בַּשָּׁמַיִם יִשְׂחָק
יְהוָה יִלְעַג-לָמוֹ
2.4The one sitting in the heavens, he laughs
יְהוָה ridicules them
----כָּל רֹאַי יַלְעִגוּ לִי
יַפְטִירוּ בְשָׂפָה
יָנִיעוּ רֹאשׁ
22.8All who see me deride me
They purse their lips
They toss their head
----בְּחַנְפֵי לַעֲגֵי מָעוֹג
חָרֹק עָלַי שִׁנֵּימוֹ
35.16with polluted mocking from the feast
they grind their teeth on me
----תְּשִׂימֵנוּ חֶרְפָּה לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ
לַעַג וָקֶלֶס לִסְבִיבוֹתֵינוּ
44.14You set us up as a reproach to our neighbours
a scorn and a derision to those around us
----וְאַתָּה יְהוָה תִּשְׂחַק לָמוֹ
תִּלְעַג לְכָל גּוֹיִם
59.9But you יְהוָה will laugh at them
you will deride all the nations
----הָיִינוּ חֶרְפָּה לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ
לַעַג וָקֶלֶס לִסְבִיבוֹתֵינוּ
79.4we have become a reproach to our neighbours
scorn and ridicule to those around us
----תְּשִׂימֵנוּ מָדוֹן לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ
וְאֹיְבֵינוּ יִלְעֲגוּ לָמוֹ
80.7You set us judged among our neighbours
and our enemies ridicule us
----רַבַּת שָׂבְעָה
לָּהּ נַפְשֵׁנוּ
הַלַּעַג הַשַּׁאֲנַנִּים
הַבּוּז לִגְאֵיוֹנִים
123.4exceeding filled
her very being, our life
the scorn of those at ease
the contempt of the proud

It seems clear that psalms 2:4 and 59:9 are a pair - but what of 22:8, 79:4, 44:14? And what to do with the synonyms - how to find an adequate discipline?

This week just after the election call when the then current government was called in contempt of parliament, the tract for Lent was psalm 123:3 in a happy translation: we have had more than enough of contempt. (I do not name that government deliberately.)

There's plenty of material for a psalm here. Anyone want to help sort out all my mistakes! I fixed the worst one that made me consider my own ridicule and judgment. It was missing the object pronoun on see - something I missed 5 years ago in my earliest learning and carried forward without either grammatical or rhythmic discernment since.  O how we carry our burdens with us!

Anyway - it's just one example of how impossible this task is. When we are through with derision, scorn, ridicule, and laughter - is there any gladness left?