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The Song of Songs: The World's First Great Love Poem (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – October 10, 2006
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"[A] masterpiece [has appeared in America], Chana and Ariel Bloch's beautiful translation of the "Song of Songs, with the English and the Hebrew on facing pages, an informative introduction, wonderfully interesting notes, and a thought-provoking afterword by Robert Alter."--Gabriel Josipovici, "Times Literary Supplement International Books of the Year 1995
From the Inside Flap
Kiss me, make me drunk with your kisses!
Your sweet loving is better than wine.
So begins the Song of Songs, often referred to as the Song of Solomon, one of the greatest love poems of all time. Set in a fragrant world of fertility and abundance, the Song celebrates the sexual awakening of a young woman and her lover, and the intoxicating experience of falling in love. It is no wonder that this book of the Old Testament, composed over two thousand years ago, continues to be a source of inspiration to poets and lovers.
In their lyrical new translation, Ariel Bloch and Chana Bloch -- he a distinguished professor of Semitics, she an award-winning poet -- restore the sensuousness of the original in language that is rich, joyous, and passionate. Scrupulously faithful to the Hebrew text, the Blochs strip away the veils of mistranslation that have obscured the power and meaning of the poem.
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One thing to be aware of is that, other than the poem itself, a brief introduction, and some brief remarks by Robert Alter, the text consists mostly of very detailed translators' notes analyzing the verses line by line, even word by word. This material will be of interest to scholars of ancient Hebrew but perhaps not to the general reader. I read the book (sans notes) in about forty minutes -- and I have to wonder if I should have paid [amt] for the privelege. Nothing against the Blochs or their fine work, but I would have preferred more supporting material of more general interest.
The translation and scholarship that surround it are wonderful.