Senior Scholar for Biblical Literature, Gender and Diversity Faculty of Protestant Theology, Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz
“Today I let my rage be beautiful”: Poet(h)ical Responses to Crisis in the New Normal and in the Hebrew Bible
“Today I let my rage be beautiful” as the recent poem of Drew Drake, responding to the ongoing racial violence in the US puts it (http://ifyc.org/article/lament-searching-my-rage). Rage and lament may express in different forms and voices. It may sound like a soul clap, like a protest song or like “Hold On A Change Is Comin’,” “And Don’t it sound like this rage is Total Praise?” In a similar vein, literary responses in the Hebrew Bible to crisis like pandemics and violence range from lament and protest, explanation through deed consequence connection, call to amend to assertion.
I shall revisit these old forms of biblical crisis literature focusing on the role of the emotion of rage and the specific poetical mode of lament- divine and human. The paper hence juxtaposes recent and ancient psalms/songs/poems and unfolds along these poems how the rage for justice expresses as Prayer/lament. A first selection of glocal poetical reactions to the crisis has been made: A poem responding to the Covid 19 deaths. A song written by the Berlin song writer and singer Danny Dziuk unfolding how the corona crisis serves as burning lens of our constant crisis and last but not least the poem by Drew Drake (New York). The aim is to show the interconnectedness of the different poetical modes responding to crisis and to highlight that lament/rage functions as call to assert and to amend at the same time.