Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fantasia, Prophecy, Wisdom & Poetry

I was listening to class lectures today on my headphones and it got to the part where my professor was reciting Ezekiel 1 4-12. It's a lead in to Ezekiel's call experience where God's chariot appears. ("I looked, a stormy wind blew from the north...")This was written approximately between 593 and 571 BC. It reminded me how Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" was read. It starts with "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness..."

I would have to read both pieces over and compare what the authors witnessed as far as the state of society was. I like Ginsberg's description of the modern Moloch- the war machinery that eats babies. It's a horrible description of a debased society, a dehumanization.

Later on I was listening to the Job tracts, specifically Job 40 15-32 to Job 41 1-26. In this context, the Leviathan, explained in class as a crocodile and the Behemoth, most likely a hippopotamus were animals associated with the undesirable old place for Hebrews, Egypt. These water beasts as God told Job, were under God's complete control. This is more heady stuff I want to read again.

Taking a break, having a meal I play Disney's Fantasia in the background. When Amilcare Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours comes on, I am floored to see the Behemoth and Leviathan- performing a ballet. One more thing from popular culture that have strange literary allusions.

Reading the Bible in a narrative literature context is incredibly interesting for me. In Roman Catholic mass, the first and second readings are basically two parts that confirm the prophecy of Jesus Christ the Messiah. On my own though for example, reading Isaiah in its historical context yields a new scenario. Thousands of years of narrative literature that is the Bible is simply way too much for just one semester for me.

I got a B in this class. I missed a few classes while I was chasing fires (I work full time as a firefighter in NYC) and was late for the final. This semester though I'm totally working around school. I wish I wasn't so pompous last semester as to think I can just leave work on time and get to class.

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