Psalm 42 is one of my all time favourites, I love its opening line:
- LIKE as the hart desireth the water-brooks: so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
In English, though not in Hebrew, this translation offers us that other sense of the deepest desires of the heart, which is, of course what the psalm is all about. And I love the image of the ‘water brooks’ the ‘living streams’ the ‘fontes aquarum’ as it was in the old Latin translation.
So it was a pleasure to make this response to the psalm, and to remind myself that though I am also an author of ‘dusty books’ and my words too have ‘rung from pulpits’, in the end it is not the words about God that we want, but God himself.
As usual you can hear me read the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title. For the other poems in my psalm series type the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
You are my heart’s desire from first to last
Like as the hart desires the water brooks
So longs my soul towards you, so I thirst
For living streams, not for the dusty books
They write about you, nor the empty words
That ring from pulpits, nor the haughty looks
Of those who market you. These are the shards
Of broken idols. I long for the deep
In you that calls the deep in me, the chords
That sound those depths and summon me to weep
At first with tears of grief and then with tears
Of joy, that I may sow those tears and reap
A timeless harvest, that the ripened ears
Of grain may shine as clean and clear as gold
Shucked of the husk of all my wasted years.
If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!