By Les D. Maloney
A observe Fitly Spoken explores major poetic units in the 4 alphabetic acrostic psalms present in ebook I of the Psalter. the vast majority of scholarly opinion has been that those acrostics are poetically and artistically poor as a result writers’ and editors’ preoccupation with the alphabetic trend. unlike this view, A note Fitly Spoken proposes that the acrostic development contributes to, instead of detracts from, the poetic artistry of those psalms. so one can advertise a holistic, canonical studying of the 4 acrostic poems inside of e-book I of the Psalter, this learn additionally examines the linguistic and grammatical connections in the textual content. this sort of shut studying time and again demonstrates the emotive strength and the mind's eye of this literature in contradiction to its supposedly stiff, wood nature. A observe Fitly Spoken is attuned to the widespread performs on notice and sound that ensue all through those 4 poems and as such will be important in graduate classes on biblical interpretation, Hebrew poetry, or the Psalms.
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Extra info for A Word Fitly Spoken: Poetic Artistry in the First Four Acrostics of the Hebrew Psalter (Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 119)
4 I will wait until the end of this chapter to actually produce a translation of Psalm 9/10—one that will reflect the insights gained by noting the functions of the various artistic components used by the poet. The first task at hand, however, is to focus on the use of poetic devices, semantic and grammatical, making observations on how they function within the unified poem which is Ps 9/10. 5 On the whole question of intentionality, 24 A Word Fitly Spoken Jakobson introduces what seems to me to be a more helpful concept—the concept of intuition: Any significant poetic composition, whether it is an improvement or the fruit of long and painstaking labor, implies a goal-oriented choice of verbal material….
99 Then, in the context of a discussion of the origins of the psalms, Seybold addresses the textual structure Introduction 17 of the eight acrostic poems and emphasizes that these psalms are still to be regarded as poetic art and as evidencing progression of thought: It must be assumed that such texts were composed at the writing table. There hardly seems to be any other possibility than to imagine that the author began by setting down on paper the letters of the alphabet…in a vertical line…. Thus far the process is rather mechanical and formal, and seems to stem from the literacy exercises of the school, where the pupils would write out the Aleph-Beth and memorize the sequence of the letters… Despite the constraints of the schema, the writer still has enough leeway to let his poetry unfold.
This was the approach taken by Augustine, among others…. These two approaches dominated the Middle Ages…. 113 Schökel is similarly interested in highlighting the stylistic and poetic intricacies of Hebrew poetry. In contrast to someone like Cassiodorus, for example, or perhaps even W. G. E. Watson,114 Schökel is not interested in producing long lists of tropes. 115 This emphasis upon function is the aim of the present study of these four alphabetic acrostic psalms. It is expected that a close reading of these four acrostics will also provide insight into interpretation of the overall message— the message the final editor is trying to communicate with the acrostic form.
A Word Fitly Spoken: Poetic Artistry in the First Four Acrostics of the Hebrew Psalter (Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 119) by Les D. Maloney