By Robert Alter
A cornerstone of the scriptural canon, the e-book of Psalms has been a resource of solace and pleasure for numerous readers over millennia. This undying poetry is superbly wrought through a student whose translation of the 5 Books of Moses was once hailed as a “godsend” through Seamus Heaney and a “masterpiece” by means of Robert Fagles. Alter’s The publication of Psalms captures the simplicity, the physicality, and the coiled rhythmic energy of the Hebrew, restoring the notable eloquence of those historic poems. His discovered and insightful remark illuminates the obscurities of the textual content.
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Extra resources for The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary
Le pido a un sabio que me diga dónde puedo vivir tranquilo. 40 I married beneath the waves but don’t remember who they were, my lovers so many fathoms down, but it’s true that everything fell into dismal routine: I got bored of fishes, no incidents and no battles, and maybe the fish figured I was some dull cetacean. When through my imagination I step onto the sands of Isla Negra and live like the rest of the world, people are ringing the doorbell to ask idiotic questions about the obscure facts of a completely ordinary life, and I don’t know what to do to frighten off those odd canvassers.
Porque mi historia se duplica cuando en mi infancia descubrí mi depravado corazón que me hizo caer en el mar y acostumbrarme a submarino. Allí estudié para pintor, allí tuve casa y pescado, 38 A N O T H E R ONE I returned from the depths of the sea hating wet things: like a dog, I shook off waves that caressed me and all at once I felt happy to step back onto land and utterly of the earth. The journalists trained their flamboyant machinery against my eyes and my navel to get me to talk with them as if I were already dead, as if I were a common specialized cadaver, not considering my being that insisted on walking in the world before I returned to my horrendous habits: I was about to jump into the ocean again.
He further evaluates his performance as a poet responsible to his people, another theme that this book shares with the rest of the series. There 30 is another reason, however, that I am publishing this book out of the order Neruda asked his publisher to follow. The Yellow Heart seems like a good book with which to honor the poet’s request in Still An other Day to leave him restless. Neruda did not abide stasis for long in his life or his work, and to understand him is to come to terms with the fact that the only constants in the human world are paradox and change.
The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter