Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Must Hear: BBC's Poetry Please: Readings from Psalms

I just finished listening to the BBC's Poetry Please broadcast of readings from the book of Psalms (HT: Phil Sumpter and John Hobbins). Kenneth Cranham reads from the time-honored King James Version and Henry Goodman reads from a fresh translation of the The Book of Psalms by Robert Alter.

While listening to these moving readings, I was reminded of a question posed in one of my pulpit speech classes: When does interpretation begin? We all (or most of us) assumed that interpretation began with the preaching of the sermon. That was the first time I realized that interpretation begins during the reading of the Scriptures. Ever since I've paid close attention to how people read the Scriptures. This episode by the BBC is a treat, indeed. The readings are full of interpretive moves that are brilliant. One of the most difficult psalms is the 137th, which includes a very strong imprecation. Both readers captured the emotion of this text better than I have ever heard.

Psalm 65 was a favorite--reverent, prayerful, and full of confidence in "our rescuing God."
Roger McGough presents a programme dedicated to the poetry of the Old Testament Book of Psalms, in old translations and new, read by Kenneth Cranham and Henry Goodman.

Featured in this programme
Psalm 23
Taken from The King James Bible
Psalm 23
Taken from The Book of Psalms
Translated by Robert Alter
Published by WW Norton and Company
Psalm 1
Taken from The Book of Psalms
Translated by Robert Alter
Published by WW Norton and Company
Psalm 150
Taken from The King James Bible
Psalm 22
Taken from The Book of Psalms
Translated by Robert Alter
Published by WW Norton and Company
Psalm 19
Taken from The King James Bible
Psalm 104
Taken from The Book of Psalms
Translated by Robert Alter
Published by WW Norton and Company
Psalm 13
Taken from The King James Bible
Psalm 13
Taken from The Book of Psalms
Translated by Robert Alter
Published by WW Norton and Company
Psalm 65
Taken from The King James Bible
Psalm 137
Taken from The King James Bible
Psalm 137
Taken from The Book of Psalms
Translated by Robert Alter
Published by WW Norton and Company

Share/Bookmark