blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
translation by Jennifer Grotz

Psalm 32

Don’t I have a right, Lord, to the seasons?
Haven’t you made an error with this too long winter?
My soul looks in vain for something to attach to.

Nothing enlivens me anymore and I bring nothing to life,
my voice returns hollow from the smallest call for you.
Perhaps it’s my voice you despise.

Without it I am just a cavalier with no mount,
a poet stranded without your blessing:
I had tried to seize your grace.

Even a rock is more of a musician than I am,
my cry is more inarticulate than a beast’s,
my sorry throat fouls everything up. . .

Stop me, my God, from atoning myself to death:
for three years I’ve broken myself, I’ve bored into myself,
I’ve heard nothing but the sound of my own moans—and did you hear me?

I left the realm of the profane behind for you
and now you condemn me with silence.
No, I have not received my due!

At least come down to me. Don’t extend
an indifferent sky above me,
don’t leave me with a throat slit open . . .  end

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