This meme runs onward to its conclusion, and I am beginning to feel like Hercules at the end of his Labors. I have talked enough about books that you are all getting a pretty decent view of the manner of things which form the major building blocks of my life.
The idea of the Honeymoon books question was, I think, to try to find that one book that, unshared, would strangle the young marriage before it even had a chance. Problematically, we have all discussed The Space Trilogy, Narnia, and Lord of the Rings. I have personally admitted to my voracious conquest of Agatha Christie, and you all know about me and Shakespeare. What in the library does this leave? (new exclamation of disbelief?)
There are reasons that I, thus far, have preferred fiction as the genre that I discuss. For the most part, it is simply that I believe this was the intention of the meme. But I must now make a radical break from that, because the language of my heart is not prose.
I’m a musician; specifically, a violinist. My life is consciously and concertedly built around rhythm, melodies, harmonies. This is an older fact than my eighth birthday, when my beloved parents presented me with my very first 1/2 size violin. I sang as a baby and couldn’t sleep without Mozart’s Eine Kleine or the Jupiter. (symphony 41)
My mother put poetry into my heart before I can remember. I cut my teeth on nursery rhymes and spent years loving nonsense and pattering words. As I grew, my father read Hiawatha, all of it, out to me and my brother at bed time. I memorize it, chant it, write it. It is the most fundamental part of me.
The book of poetry that has been with me longest and, quite naturally, means the most to me, is the book of Psalms. Considered as art, they are sublime. Considered as poems, they are miraculous; for this type of poetry translates into any language and stays obviously poetry. Considering their message, they all proclaim my Savior. They are hope, confidence, confession.
If you want to know which book I’d actually physically bring, let me point to a beautiful commentary by Carl Manthey Zorn called simply The Psalms. Pastor Zorn wrote beautifully on each passage in turn, and follows each psalm with an appropriate hymn. It has already weathered a great deal of storms and sunny days with me. I think I’d better pack that. But it is so heavy. Hmmm… conundrums…