Parlor Discussion 9:00 AM
With Bob Maddox
Song of Solomon 2:1-17
2I am a rose* of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
2 As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens.
3 As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his intention towards me was love.
5 Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am faint with love.
6 O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me!
7 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the wild does:
do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!
8 The voice of my beloved!
Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look, there he stands behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;
11 for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff,
let me see your face, let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
15 Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that ruin the vineyards— for our vineyards are in blossom.’
16 My beloved is mine and I am his; he pastures his flock among the lilies.
17 Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
or a young stag on the cleft mountains.*
By any measure, whatever one’s individual interpretation of the Song of Solomon, the short book is a masterpiece of poetry. The imagery soars to exquisites heights. The metaphors are evocative. The words sing. They speak to all manner of longings, memories, flights of imagination. To parse the lines and similies poses a task akin to describing in words the glories of a sunset over the mountains or across the ocean. But let’s give it a try. Read the rest of this entry »