A howl of despair

Sunday, June 24

Psalm 42

The Psalms have always functioned as a book of common prayer. But there is also a long history of turning to the Psalter as a sourcebook for poetry. It is not difficult to see why. Many of the psalms foreground the act of speech or song—the activity of utterance itself—as the chief end of everything that has breath. In this universal work of praise the poet leads the cosmic chorus in giving voice to “Kings of the earth and all peoples” and to “Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars” (Ps. 148:9, 11).


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