Monday, January 30, 2012

More on the Psalms Contest

I've had a few people asking for details on what I'm looking for in submissions to the psalm translation contest. Loose, strict, metrical, or free, I'm looking for a personal version of any single biblical psalm. The piece can be transposed, translated, or transmogrified - anything that bring personal vision and poetic craft to bear on the material. I mentioned in the original post that submissions would be judged on accuracy. This doesn't mean a knowledge of Hebrew is necessary. Rather, I want fidelity to the spirit and beauty of the original, even if is transported into the context of a Berlin street or the back hills of Arkansas.

The contest idea came from reading about the Bay Psalm Book in "The Poetics of Translation" by Willis Barnstone. The section below, though incomplete, gives an overview of the Bay Psalm Book. Though I'm not (necessarily) looking for psalm translations that meet the strict requirements of puritan settlers, I want something as human, as vital, as personal, and as poetic.

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