“Big Name” (#8 in the Psalter Project)

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“You are holy…” “I praise your name…” Does it seem like you’ve sung the same words of praise a hundred times? This morning?

A villanelle is a poetic form in which two whole lines must be re-used in a strict sequence: its power is in the slightly shifting meaning that the repeated lines take on as their context changes. The words are the same, but they mean more and more. That’s how prayer often feels, isn’t it? We keep saying the same words, but they mean more and more as our context shifts and our life flows on.

Here is Lindsay’s villanelle based on Psalm 8, “Big Name.”

(My sister Lindsay and I are writing poems based on and responding to each of the psalms in order. You might want to start at the beginning of our Psalter Project, or see all the psalms I’ve posted so far.)

BigName

“Big Name”

your name means majesty to me
i’ll sing you a song, oh! king of kings
my voice bends to your majesty

those mighty bodies get no glee
from baby lips the sugar bell rings
your name means majesty to me

your sunny star and moony sea
wild magic majestic happenings
my voice bends to your majesty

so why’d you snuggle a daughter like me
in a plush purple sky with soft dovey wings?
your name means majesty to me

you swaddled my brothers in royalty
over crawling and loping and swimming things
my voice bends to your majesty

‘till, buttery smooth and fluttery free,
our newborn, reborn, red earth sings:
your name means majesty to me,
my voice bends to your majesty!

–Lindsay Feldmeth Westra

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