Aside from the interesting discussion of translation and the structure of Hebrew poetry, I was captivated by what Robinson had to say about the writers of the Bible:
They feel weakness and you feel the burden of their humanity in something that is nevertheless received as being a sacred testimony. You know, I mean, it seems to me that that's one of the most poignant and powerful things about scripture--that it situates the testimony of the sacred in fallible human voices, which are only extraordinary, only more beautiful, because you sense the frailty. The frailty's insisted upon. And here we have this enormous disproportion between the grandeur of God that's reported in the psalm and the sense of the presumed triviality of the human person, the human perceiver of these stars, and so on. You know, the psalm says, You crowned human beings; you gave them the glory that they have and, therefore, even though it is, in a sense, secondary to what they are, it is also utterly real, you know. There's just an extraordinary complexity of the human presence, the human testimony in a sacred literature. It's very, very remarkable.On Sunday night when we heard that Chávez was sending troops to our border, lines from Psalm 27 that I had memorized as a child ran through my head. Here they are in Alter's translation:
Though a camp is marshaled against me,(via ReadySteadyBlog)
my heart shall not fear.
Though battle is roused against me,
nonetheless do I trust.