In May of 2016 I was reading some poetry from a particular poetry journal and I felt my spirit lifted. I felt my soul fed as I absorbed the words from the page. It was a feeling that I had at one time associated with Sunday worship, but due to a series of events, I no longer felt. Realizing what I was feeling, I began to read the Psalms more closely. I specifically began to read them as poetry rather than as scripture, and I discovered a new depth of meaning and beauty in the book.
It was however, an experience that only a small handful of my friends shared.
Then it occurred to me that most people miss out on the Psalms because they just don’t look like the poetry we’re used to seeing. Now I admit that poetry as an art form has been on the decline since the middle of the 20th century and certainly that can account for some of it, but I did notice that there are three barriers that most people encounter when studying the psalms.
- The language is not particularly lyrical (which we expect in poetry)
- The form does not match our expected forms of poetry
- It is hard to see the poetry behind the content.
That is where this project started. I deeply desire to share my love of poetry and my love of scripture and so have taken a number of psalms and other bits of poetry throughout the Bible and re-cast them into modern verse. I intend to post one poem (Tuesday) and a brief “outro” or discussion of it (Thursday) every week.
Please understand that these verses are not meant to be “new” translations of scripture, but rather are a combination of paraphrase, interpretation and reflection as I share with you, the glorious beauty that is hidden in biblical poetry. I desire to share that with you, but I also desire to share with you the pure, innocent worship that springs up from this place where my spirit is fed.