Friday, May 8, 2009

What's a poetical line like you...

...doing in a Bible like this? "The witchery of paltry things obscures what is right." -- Wisdom 4:12. A welcome spot of "dark speech" in the soggy cardboard of the New American Bible.

For the last few days I've been avoiding what's called "news" - the witchery of trivia, political propaganda and other paltry things. To follow the news nowadays is to be a misinformed citizen. Instead, I'm spending more time with Elizabethan poets, Constitutional history, the worthwhile blogs, etc. It's refreshing.


  1. I like the sound and rhythm of "the witchery of paltry things"! And you're right; it's not often one gets to say that about a New American Bible rendering.

    For the record, the King James Version with the Apocrypha has : "For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind."

    And my nearest-to-hand modern translation, the Revised English Bible, says "because evil is like witchcraft : it dims the radiance of good, and the waywardness of desire unsettles an innocent mind."

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to open up Wisdom, one of my favorite books!

  2. "Naughty" seems to have lost something since Philip Sidney's time. His Psalm 5:

    For thou art that same God, farre from delight/In that which of fowle wickednes doth smell:/No, nor with thee the naughty ones shall dwell,

    "Foul wickedness" still has some heft to it, but "naughty ones" is more a Monty Python line nowadays.

    From "naught", I suppose it smelled of the worthless emptiness of sin, the anti-Being.