The Poets' Book of Psalms: The Complete Psalter as Rendered by Twenty-five Poets from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries

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Laurance Wieder
Oxford University Press, 1999 - Bibles - 311 pages
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Poetry has traditionally embodied religious imagination and reflected the deepest longings, joys, and tribulations of humanity. As the Bible's best-known poetry, the Psalms have been a rich source of inspiration for meditation, song, and recitation for thousands of years.
Uniting the lyrical songs of Israel with their literary legacy, The Poets' Book of Psalms comprises renditions of the Psalms by twenty-five renowned poets from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Poets include John Donne, Robert Burns, John Milton, Sir Philip Sidney, John Davies, Sir Thomas Wyatt, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Sidney Herbert, David Rosenberg, and Laurance Wieder. The result--a complete and lyrical Psalter for the modern reader--supplies a living language alternative to existing prose translations and pious paraphrases.
The collection includes an introduction by the editor that describes the often surprising history and politics surrounding many of the poets lives and work. For easy cross-reference in meditation and prayer, the King James Version of the Psalms is also incorporated. Wieder separates The Poets' Book of Psalms into five parts in accordance with the Midrash tradition that also identifies the ten types of Psalms: glory, melody, Psalm, song, praise, prayer, blessing, thanksgiving, Hallelujah, and exultation. This Psalter can be read at random or in order without compromising the integrity and music of the poetry.
All 150 poetically interpreted Psalms speak to the three religious traditions that hold the Bible sacred--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--and provide endless enjoyment for lovers of poetry. Bringing together the brightest poetic musings, The Poets' Book of Psalms is a unique modern alternative to existing English versions of the Bible's Psalms.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION Laurance Wieder xiii
BOOK
The Thirtythird Psalm LAURANCE WIEDER 45
The Hundredfifth Psalm CHRISTOPHER SMART 154
The Hundredfourteenth Psalm THOMAS CAREW 170
The Hundredthirtyfourth Psalm MARY SIDNEY HERBERT 197
The Eighth Psalm HENRY HOWARD OF SURREY 15
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About the author (1999)


Laurance Wieder has contributed poems and reviews to the New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, and Scripsi. He edited the highly-acclaimed two-volume work Chapters Into Verse: Poetry in English Inspired by the Bible.

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