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King James Bible

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Does the King James Bible play any part in your poetry?

1. Gads, no!
2. Of course. What a silly question.
3. King who?
No votes
Total votes: 4

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King James Bible

Postby Agnes » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:29 am

This article contains writers' opinions of the importance of the King James Bible.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/fe ... e-language

Here's one snippet, the section by Alexander McCall Smith:
In my dining room I have a portrait of King James VI of Scotland (I of England), or Jamie Saxt, as he was known north of the border. He looks rather melancholy, and with good reason: his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, had been beheaded, he had the most oppressive education, and he was four centuries too early to be open about his sexual inclinations (he was gay). He was, however, a man of erudition, a poet of some ability, and an interesting political theorist. His greatest achievement, though, was the commissioning of a translation of the Bible that has greatly enriched the English language. His contribution to English literature, although indirect, is incalculable.

Those of us brought up in an age when churchgoing was rather more common than it is today will understand the length and depth of our debt to the poetry contained in the King James Bible. Even those who can no longer accept biblical claims – or indeed the relevance of the Bible in the modern world – can appreciate the beauty of the language used, its cadences and its gorgeous, resonant strength. Compared with the language of modern translations, it is vivid, echoing and magisterial. Children exposed to the language of the King James Bible will appreciate the sense of theatre, the sense of awe that suffuses virtually every sentence.

You don't have to believe any of it, but it still provides a moving account of two of the world's religions – Judaism and Christianity. It is a book of great poetic power, and for centuries it was one of our culture's greatest assets. It still is. And that, of course, should be told in Gath, should be published in the streets of Askelon.
Alexander McCall Smith is a novelist


Does the King James Bible ever play a part in your poetry? If yes, how? If no, why not?

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