New English biblical translation

1 Comment

New English text

Paul is reading Porter and
doesn't know
so many words:
'aleatory', 'gallimaufry'. He
hasn't read Hesiod:
'verdigris' is from the
French, grey-green, a shadow on the
humidor, so I'm
guessing Hoplite's helmet was
made of bronze —
I remember the shine of
new copper on
Corpus Christi, quickly dulled, the
body of christ is
a Cathedral now, shares with
the duomo and other public pates the
chemistry of oxidation,
a colour that, dichromatic,
I know by name but cannot see.

They are translating God again: (that's
'carrying across', not 'carrying a cross',
though carried away might be
closer to the mark). Can
You decline 'Vernacular'?
Verna, a home-born slave, hence
the tongue of family. The
diction'ry equates the
Vulgate of St Jerome, in its day the
lingua franca, but only of the erudite —

The modern law aspires to common speech
(in contracts, not in court) so
Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and
Let us pray away our way Yahweh and
Save your thee's and thou's.

Jesus said 'G'day mate, why don'tcher
try a cast off the point there, I
had a few bites just now, reckon you'll
catch a feed, at least. I'll get the billy on ...'
They knew him in the breaking of the bread:
Awesome is what stuns our soul to love and
Clumsy words cannot make it so.

Hoplon's a shield, hoplite its soldier bearer:
Greek, not Roman as Golgotha, where
(casting lots by chance, 'aleatory')
an outer garment found another corpus:
that's a 'gallimaufry' (medley) if you like,
but Porter does it better.

–Paul Dignam

Royal Ballet

I make friends with an old lady at the ballet,
we talk about music,
it is serious and we are serious too,

We are on our own, looking for beauty,
ready to snatch it out of the air
and stash it in our pockets,

We hoard it for long days
stretching out in council flats,
someone else's music blaring between floorboards,

These dancers have us for this moment,
both of us dazed,
sitting next to each other but still managing to be alone,

We chat politely in the intervals,
the rest of the time we watch the beautiful bodies,
sway with the score,
scour the glistening air.

–Jonathan Hadwen

Paul DignamPaul Dignam works as a child psychiatrist in Adelaide, honing his skills in the poetry of psychotherapy and the joy of family.

Jonathan HadwenJonathan Hadwen is a Brisbane poet who has been published in Australia and overseas. He has been a guest performer at the Queensland Poetry Festival and the Woodford Folk Festival, and can be found on the first Sunday of each month at SpeedPoets, Brisbane's longest running open mic event.

Topic tags: new australian poems, Paul Dignam, Jonathan Hadwen, Night Swim, Royal Ballet, new English text



submit a comment

Existing comments

i luv it. For suffering is least redemptive when bled.
Louise Jeffree | 07 June 2011


Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up