"Haymaking" by Pieter Bruegel the ElderEcclesiastes 3, Recast in Classical Poetry, by T.M. Moore The Society January 14, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 13 Comments Eternity in Our Hearts after Ecclesiastes 3 I contemplated all these matters from beneath the heaven, seeing things the way God sees them. For, no matter what may come, it has its place, and everything its day, in God’s economy. For everything there is a season; every purpose may be sorted out. There is a time to bring forth life, a time to die; a time to sow, a time to harvest what was sown in spring. There even is a time to kill; just so, there is a time to heal; a time to break things down, a time to build things up. And though there is a time to sorrow and to make lament, there is a time to laugh. To mourn, likewise to celebrate with joy; to take out stones, to gather stones; in love’s sweet morn to hold and cherish, and a time to cease from love; to gain, to lose; to be forlorn, to be refreshed; to keep and to increase, and then to throw away; a time to tear, a time to sew; a time for speech to cease, a time for speaking out; a time to bear another up in love, a time to turn away in hate; a time for war somewhere, somewhere a time for peace. What did I learn? From all his work, a man gains nothing. I have seen the labor every man in turn is given from the hand of God, that he may fill his passing days and realize some meaning. God has made all things to be, in their time, beautiful, that we might prize and cherish every opportunity for seeing Him. He sets before our eyes His glory, and we know Him. Also, He has put eternity within our heart, so that we understand how things should be – although we cannot know, except in part, as God knows. Therefore, I suppose that there is nothing better than for man to start and finish life rejoicing, taking care of others, and enjoying life and all its pleasures, all God’s gifts that everywhere abound to us. Whatever God does shall endure forever. Nothing can be to it added, nothing taken, great or small. Whatever happens, God Himself will do it, so that we should fear Him. What is now has been already, likewise what comes through tomorrow. God records it all, somehow, and He requires that we shall give one day a full account of how we’re living now. This led me further to observe the way men live beneath the sun: Where justice should obtain, and righteousness prevail, there lay on every hand iniquity. Nor could I find among the evil everywhere abounding, anything of lasting good. I said within my heart, “Does no one care? Can they not see that they’re no better than mere animals, who act this way? Compare your vanity and selfishness, O man, with any beast, which struggles only to survive. For God is testing you, or can you not perceive His hand in this? For you who live like beasts will die like beasts as well. You are not made for this. When life is through, your spirit will remain. And whether hell or heaven is your destiny is not yet clear; the works you do, however, tell the tale of your priorities. You ought to sing for joy through all your vanity; and yet your days with misery are fraught. And is there anyone to help you see what things will be like when you cease to be?” T.M. Moore’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published five volumes of verse through his ministry’s imprint, Waxed Tablet Publications. He is Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, he and his wife, Susie, reside in Essex Junction, VT. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 13 Responses Joe Tessitore January 14, 2020 Very measured, very beautiful, and a very beautiful way to start the day. Reply Alan January 14, 2020 An excellent poem. Your lines flow quite well from one stanza to the next, and through the enjambments. And the meaning of the original Bible verses is retained quite well. I just have one quibble. When I read the last line, there seem to be two strong stresses in a row at “be like,” and I lose the rhythm there. I won’t try to revise the couplet for you, but that’s my two cents. Reply C.B. Anderson January 14, 2020 Alan, Sometimes in an iambic line, stresses, if they are not really strong ones, are demoted; likewise, normally unstressed syllables are promoted. The important thing is that elocution of such a line is not so far out of sync with normal speech that it sounds strained and ridiculous. I have no trouble scanning the line you question like this: what THINGS will BE like WHEN you CEASE to BE. All that is needed is to promote “be” and demote “like.” And thus I found this piece of terza rima executed with nary a hitch. Reply Amy Foreman January 14, 2020 Spectacular verse, as usual, T.M. Reply James Sale January 14, 2020 It’s a busy day, TM, and I have just read this in passing, but as I swiftly turn to the non-poetic and business matters – in which there is some poetry as there are in all works which we are ordained to do – I should say that these Cantos of yours rank with some of the best poetry being written on these pages, which means I think that they compare with some of the best being written anywhere. They are compelling, they are powerful and fluent, and since they are in terza rima that is a considerable achievement. Some might consider them mere translations, but be that as it may, they are original enough to be thought works of art. I look forward to more of them. Must go. Reply Joseph S. Salemi January 14, 2020 This is excellent terza rima, and especially notable is Moore’s ability to maintain continuous sentence structure over the course of several tercets. Reply C.B. Anderson January 14, 2020 Yes, Joseph, it’s heartening when someone is able to maintain good sentence structure. So many seem unable to carry off what was drummed into us from the third to ninth grades. A poem is ever so much easier to read, understand and enjoy when syntax and grammar are properly attended to. Reply T.M. January 14, 2020 All y’all: It gladdens me greatly that you appreciate this work. Thank you. Onward. T. M. Reply David Paul Behrens January 14, 2020 Nothing new under the sun, As was written long ago. Stars burn out and are done. The planets come and go. Soon mankind will not exist. The heartache will be gone. What remains shall persist To seek a brand new dawn. Reply James A. Tweedie January 14, 2020 Amen to all the praise. Well earned and well deserved. Please don’t stop! But note that the middle line of the 10th stanza appears to be tetra- rather than penta-. Reply T.M. January 14, 2020 ‘Tis indeed. I’ll mend it. Thanks James. T. M. Reply T.M. January 14, 2020 Evan fixed it. Thanks again, James. David Whippman January 17, 2020 Skilfully crafted poem that stays faithful to the original work. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.