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A Book of Psalms: Selected and Adapted from the Hebrew [Paperback]

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Item Number 56091  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   112
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060924705  
EAN  9780060924706  

Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 04:25.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Mitchell (author of The Gospel According to Jesus) has translated 50 psalms into a language that is simple and easily understood by all. He feels the poet's essential role is to stand at the center of creation and say "Behold it is very good." It is capturing the gratitude that often wells up in the heart of men.

Some of his versions are fairly close translations, but he has also paraphrased, expanded, contracted, deleted, and freely improvised on the themes of the originals. His rendering of Psalm 1 begins "Blessed are the man and the woman / who have grown beyond their greed / and have put an end to their hatred / and no longer nourish illusions." This is clearly a new look at the Psalms.

Publishers Description
Psalm 93God acts within every momentand creates the world with each breath.He speaks from the center of the universe, in the silence beyond all though.Mighter than the crash of a thunderstorm, mighter than the roar of the sea, is God's voice silently speakingin the depths of the listening heart.

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More About Stephen Mitchell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stephen Mitchell's many books include The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Job, Tao Te Ching, Parables and Portraits, The Gospel According to Jesus, Meetings with the Archangel, and The Frog Prince.

From the Hardcover edition.

Stephen Mitchell has an academic affiliation as follows - Harvard University, Exeter University, Imperial College University of.

Stephen Mitchell has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Harper Perennial Modern Classics
  2. Modern Library (Hardcover)
  3. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  4. P.S.
  5. Vintage International

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
one more time before the alter   Dec 2, 2005
Year after year, people have come to the Psalms in their spiritual quests. Here, the author adds one more layer of experience and tradition to the unnumbered people who have added their own input to the historic tradition. For people looking for a fusion with eastern thought, this could be helpful. Also, there is a rich variety of resources on the psalms interconnecting with tradition and experience, particularly those written or editted by Stephen Breck Reid
awesome  Sep 16, 2005
i loved it. reading the bible always makes me feel spanked. mitchell has done with the psalms what G did for moveable type. something about universal accessibility.
Not what I wanted  Oct 8, 2004
The author writes:"I have translated fairly closely where that has been possible; but I have also paraphrased, expanded, contracted, deleted, shuffled the order of verses and freely improvised on the themes of the originals.". This was not bad devotional free verse poetry but to call it specifically a translation of the book of psalms is very misleading. King James version and JPS have done it better. It is more inspired from the book of psalms than an actual translation. I give it a pass.
Enjoyable but for what audience?  Aug 5, 2002
Imagine the Tao Te Ching translated into Islamic terms, the Rg Veda reworked as a Judaic text, the Diamond Sutra translated as a Christian text; you are imagining something similar to these reworkings of the Psalms by Stephen Mitchell. While Norman Fischer in his Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms tried to translate the psalms into the universal religious concepts shared with Zen Buddhism, Mitchell recreates the psalms with Zen-specific terminology and contemporary scientific terminology which may clash with the images of the original psalms.

Example: from Psalm 148 "Praise him, you bodhisattvas, / you angels burning with his love. / Praise him in the depths of matter; / praise him in atomic space. / Praise him, you whirling electrons, / you unimaginable quarks."

The result is a set of poems which are sometimes "selected & adapted" as the book title implies, but which are often "inspired by". In those poems which speak from a consistent viewpoint, in which the mix of Judaism, Zen and science does not clash, there are excellent poems - the quality and sensativity one associates with Mitchell. Otherwise, this is one of his weaker efforts. It may be read as poetry but does not serve as a way into the psalms.

The Psalms, sort of  May 29, 2001
When you open to Psalm 1 and find that it begins: "Blessed are the man and the woman / who have grown beyond their greed," you know that this is not your fathers' Psalter.

Fair enough. Stephen Mitchell gives fair warning in his title (it's "a," not "the" Book of Psalms) and his short introduction (in which he states his intent to "[s]ing to the Lord a _new_ song" by following the spirit rather than the letter).

And like all of Mitchell's work, these are lovely poetic renderings. But be aware that quite a few of them are (or at least include) improvisations that depart radically from the original text. Then, too, the local references to Jerusalem and/or the Temple have been erased and replaced with more universal allusions. (Other portions of the text are rendered even more politically correct.)

My biggest beef is that Mitchell has turned most of the "complaining" Psalms (when he includes them at all; there are only fifty "psalms" in this volume) into statements of spiritual acquiescence. And he characterizes that acquiescence itself in terms that are foreign to the Psalms: e.g. Psalm 133's "my heart is not proud" is Buddhized to "my mind is not noisy with desires."

But it's excellent poetry, and Mitchell at least has the good sense not to stray too far from the text when he renders perennial favorites like Psalm 23.

As poetry, then, this book is one of Mitchell's better works. Just don't expect the biblical Psalms.


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