Thursday, October 09, 2003

My Breviary


I've pulled it out for my Yolanda poem, needing snippets of Lauds to quote. Like a Yolanda gown, I love this inaccessible little book, with its five pretty ribbons -- green, white, purple, yellow, blue -- all undoubtedly significant, all absolutely necessary for navigating this impossibly byzantine prayer book. The abridged version, yet.

I did a few rounds of psalmody in the way-simpler episcopal BCP, whose psalter alternates morning and evening straight through, one through 150. Some great poetry there, and some real ugly stuff too. Vengeance, dashing babies against rocks. The whole gamut. The BCP's a way lovelier translation, too, than my little breviary. But, then again, translation: I wanted to use the de profundis psalm in my vigils poem -- "my soul waits for the lord/more than a watchman waits for morning" -- to use the vulgate latin because Arvo Part's De Profundis had so inspired the poem. So here's the Latin and the translation:

Speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem speret Israhel in Domino

My soul hath hoped in the Lord
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.

So where's the watchman waiting for morning ?

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