Everyone knows the story of Job. A righteous man is tested by God. All that Job owns is taken away, all his children are killed, and he is struck down by disease. Job’s friends advise him to seek God’s forgiveness since he must have somehow offended Him. However, Job insists on his own righteousness. He does not repent. He demands an explanation for why he is being unjustly punished. An angry God appears unto Job in a whirlwind. He proclaims His workings to be far beyond the understanding of Job. He talks of Behemoth and Leviathan. He castigates Job’s friends. He grants Job happiness and prosperity. He neither explains nor justifies what happened.
Everyone knows the story of Job. No one fully understands its meaning.
/ Tags: Archibald MacLeish
, Babylonian Theodicy
, Divine Providence
, Hebrew Bible
, Hebrew Melodies
, Robert Frost
, Stephen Mitchell
, Sumerian Literature
, William Blake
Robert Frost, 1913
Many poems of Robert Frost (1874-1963) are remembered for something completely different from what the poet actually wrote. Frost’s meaning is often either opposite or orthogonal to what is initially understood.
One of Frost’s early poems is Wall Mending, published in 1914 as the first poem in North of Boston. Many remember the poem as claiming that “Good fences make good neighbors.” Walls serve to keep livestock away from crops. However, Frost points out to his neighbor that there is no need of the particular wall that they are mending:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.