How sweet are His words
Ears test words as the tongue tastes food
Taste and see that the Lord is good
For Day 28 of Na/GloPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo.net reminded us that many poems explore the sight or sound or feel of things, and Proust famously wrote about the memories evoked by smell. The prompt challenge was to write a poem that explores your sense of taste – this could be a poem about food, or wine, or even the oddly metallic sensation of a snowflake on your tongue.
This poem drew inspiration from the Old Testament, and in particular lines from Job and the Psalms.
“Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:
“‘Who can be compared with you in majesty?
Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon,
with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest;
it towered on high,
its top above the thick foliage.
The waters nourished it,
deep springs made it grow tall;
their streams flowed
all around its base
and sent their channels
to all the trees of the field.
So it towered higher
than all the trees of the field;
its boughs increased
and its branches grew long,
spreading because of abundant waters.
All the birds of the sky
nested in its boughs,
all the animals of the wild
gave birth under its branches;
all the great nations
lived in its shade.
It was majestic in beauty,
with its spreading boughs,
for its roots went down
to abundant waters.
The cedars in the garden of God
could not rival it,
nor could the junipers
equal its boughs,
nor could the plane trees
compare with its branches—
no tree in the garden of God
could match its beauty.
I made it beautiful
with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden
in the garden of God.
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage,
and because it was proud of its height,
I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations,
for him to deal with according to its wickedness.
I cast it aside, and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it.
Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys;
its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land.
All the nations of the earth came out from under its shade and left it.
All the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived among its branches.
Therefore no other trees by the waters are ever to tower proudly on high,
lifting their tops above the thick foliage.
No other trees so well-watered are ever to reach such a height;
they are all destined for death, for the earth below,
among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead.
The most foul, cruel,
Any knight ever set eyes upon;
These rabbits had a vicious streak a mile wide:
Baring huge, sharp . . . ,
Able to leap about . . . ,
Behold the strewn bones!
Enter their realm, trembling,
Besmirched with fear . . .
Then, run away!
Day 24 of Na/GloPoWriMo and today’s NaPoWriMo.net challenge is to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. The additional challenge was to base the poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. This quadrille poem (44 words) draws on the images displayed which seem to have featured in the margins of bibles, and is inspired by the art of Terry Gilliam, and a scene from one of my favourite films of all time, Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.