Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ancient Japanese Poetic Forms in the Scriptures


Old Testament

And he said, I am
Joseph your brother, whom ye
sold into Egypt.

Turn from thy fierce wrath,
and repent of this evil
against thy people.

can I hear any
more the voice of singing men
and singing women?

or wilt thou flee three
months before thine enemies,
while they pursue thee?

now advise, and see
what answer I shall return
to him that sent me.

how is Babylon
become a desolation
among the nations!

--------------
New Testament

And he said, Legion:
because many devils were
entered into him.

Now if any man
have not the Spirit of Christ,
he is none of his.

either a vine, figs?
so can no fountain both yield
salt water and fresh.

The old commandment
is the word which ye have heard
from the beginning.

I write unto you,
little children, because ye
have known the Father.

-----------------------
Book of Mormon

Yea, they may forget,
yet will I not forget thee,
O house of Israel.

I say unto you,
if ye are not ye are not
prepared to meet God.

And now when the king
had said these words, he was struck
as if he were dead.

But behold, I did
cry unto him and I did
find peace to my soul.

I say unto you,
Nay; not one whit. If so, God
would cease to be God.

And now I close mine
epistle to my beloved
brother, Moroni.

And behold, the time
is at hand, and this night shall
the sign be given.

I tried this just out of curiosity, but it could be considered a control experiment for Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon. I like how arranging the verses as Haiku brings out some parallelisms in the text that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. "If ye are not ye are not" sounds very Zen.

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