The Book of Praises Book Two
The Book of Praises is a new translation of the Psalms by Roger Wagner in which each psalm is illustrated with wood engravings and paintings in an arrangement of the English and Hebrew text. This volume contains Book Two of the Psalter, Psalms 42-72, and is the long awaited second instalment of a project that is eventually intended to encompass all five books.
In the Book of Praises (Book One) that appeared some years ago, Roger Wagner gave us much more than
a new translation of the Psalms. In the first forty one psalms English and Hebrew texts are meshed
together, beautifully laid out on the page and accompanied by strange and very lovely wood-engravings.
We are now promised Book Two which follows the same format, but now the Hebrew text comes and goes,
and in the midst of the black and white engravings are small colour paintings. The psalms are both prayers
and songs, and in this Book of Praises the praise often takes off into song, as it does in earlier translation,
Coverdale and the Authorised Version. But the language here is direct, without archaisms, but still keeps
the penumbra of allusiveness and tradition. It is spare but uncluttered, and it speaks of marvellous things.
It is praise and prayer and song. The engravings and paintings open windows out of the text into lateral
worlds. Familiar words as in Psalm forty seven, are bright with new meaning without losing the old lustre.
This is a faithful rendering of old praises, but it is also, words and vision, a superb new creation.
Â£95 + postage Â£5