The Lamentations are a series of poems I started in 2013 when I found that the men and women of the Bible rarely spoke in the first person. Without clear explanations for their behavior, these fascinating men and women, often dealing with strange, and perhaps unimaginable circumstances to a denizen of the 21st century, were and still are beyond my grasp. I could not understand why they did the things they did. And so The Lamentations are a personal exercise in empathy with both the unknown and unknowable. It is an attempt to understand the silence that gathers around what is difficult to say, especially about religion. It is an attempt to listen to what the Bible has to say, and to express a most human document in more human terms: a huge and perhaps impossible task. And it is an attempt to give these men and women back their voices–or perhaps hear the humming that was there already.
As an English and Religion major, I am fascinated by the how human beings make meaning out of the circumstances they are thrust into. All faiths and all people deal with this quandary in different ways, attempting to make sense of it all, usually through telling stories and subsequently writing them down. The Lamentations are by no means an attempt to desecrate or insult a book filled with oftentimes beautiful and haunting stories. These poems do not reflect my faith or lack thereof. And they should not be seen as an attack upon a book or a faith, but as a contribution and a tribute to these things.
2 thoughts on “an explanation of the lamentations”
Wow. I am loving these Lamentations! You do an amazing job of giving very human thoughts and feelings to these characters who are so often seen as untouchable, unreachable examples of faith. And all the while, you make music out of words. 🙂
Thank you so much! It’s so lovely to hear that they are touching people in the way that I hoped they would. ❤