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« From Daniel Nester in Albany. | Main | Walt Whitman and the Civil War (by Jenny Factor) »

May 26, 2008


People love the King James Version (KJV)for the beauty of its language. That language now sounds archaic to most ears, but the translators were biblically sound and aided our understanding greatly by translating passages that echo one another theologically or terminologically in such a way that the reverberations remain clear in both Testaments. The New International Version (NIV) which now sells more than any other, is the most accurate translation that strives for easy reading by translating original phrases into their dynamic equivalent in our idiom. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) sacrifices readability for a more strictly equivalent translation, which continues to make it satisfying to many serious Bible students. The new English Standard Version (ESV) maintains much of the majesty of style of the older Revised Standard Version (RSV) but was edited by Bible-believing scholars who made the ESV translation ove of the most insightful and dependable currently available.

I take it that the previous comment was provoked by "A unicorn boner for humanity!" But a simple visit to the Cloisters will show the relevance of the off-beat exclamation. Bible salesman advertising their sexuality on placards like the sandwich-posters worn by unsmiling men in the Depression remind me that the psychological sense of that term has defeated the economic.

Mere prose-hack novelists must bow the knee when a poetess enters the room, and this woman is a &^@%% goddess.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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