Literacy Time: Song of Solomon

This wonderful painting by Micheal Aviano is still available for auction...give him some money people.


The Song of Solomon, in case you've not read it, is one of the most sublime, sensual pieces of poetry written in antiquity. Some versions of the Bible do not carry it, but it does feature quite prominently in certain Jewish traditions. Estimated to be written in a Northern Hebrew dialect about 3000 years ago, there are many explanations for why this deliberately non-religious book wound up in holy texts. The worst one, but by far the most popular explanation, is that the short tale of unrequited love, courtship and consummation represents the relationship between god and man. I for one, however, do not buy it...

When I read the Song of Songs, I think of Lebanese beauty, Haifa...


Chapter 7: Song of Songs

  1. How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.
  2. Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.
  3. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.
  4. Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
  5. Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.
  6. How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
  7. This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
  8. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
  9. And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
  10. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
  11. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.
  12. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.
  13. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved. 

Pretty steamy, and beautiful, huh?

Free e-text of this entire, lovely duet can be found here.


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