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Psalm 46 as an Italian Sonnet

This is the result of my having fun with my morning devotions and then mixing it with thinking about translation theory. Anyone up to produce Psalm 46 in another poetic form? I’m particularly interested in playing with translating into fixed forms.

I’m safe with God my strength, my shield, my friend.
In danger he is sure and will be there.
When broken world and shattered mount I dare,
No fear I know, on God I will depend.

All water’s safe where God his help can lend.
His city glows with joy as streams there fare.
The center of his city’s in his care.
At dawn he comes, he shouts, he will defend.

My God is here with troops, his joy, his strength.
Let’s look and see what works he’s going to show.
He stops a war, he goes and weapons breaks.

Be quiet, soul, the world watch, breadth and length
See how all know he’s great wher’ere winds blow.
He rules, he saves, he hears, all peace he makes.

Copyright © 2006, Henry E. Neufeld

4 comments to Psalm 46 as an Italian Sonnet

  • [...] For this you need to go to my poetry and fiction blog, the Jevlir Caravansary, where I have posted the sonnet version. I think I got most of the thoughts into the sonnet, though of course the form is substantially different, and things are not in the same order. [...]

  • [...] In dealing with translation I tried pouring the content into the form of an Italian sonnet, just for fun (Psalm 46 as an Italian Sonnet). When interpreting poetry, there are many ways to try to “feel” the result, and the feeling is often more important than the theology. In fact, those who have suffered trouble, both Jews and Christians, may wonder about God being “an easily found help in trouble.” People who trusted in God have not always found their help in the form of physical rescue. Often they find strength to endure the trial, or even to go to their deaths, but they are not always saved. [...]

  • [...] When we deal with translation, the message can be presented in many ways. In this case it is presented through poetry. Previously, I worked with Psalm 46, showing how it has been presented in various ways, such as in Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” I then tried to convert the message of the Psalm into the form of an Italian sonnet, at which I can be said to be no better than rank amateur. [...]

  • [...] own edification, though I couldn’t resist sharing), I thought I’d call attention to my previous post now that it’s the lectionary Psalm for this coming Sunday. Share and Enjoy: These icons [...]