Author Topic: Hymns and poetry  (Read 2557 times)

peter_speckhard

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Hymns and poetry
« on: July 11, 2019, 09:48:17 AM »
What hymns/songs would people here say rise to the level of good/great poetry in their own right even apart from the melody?

John_Hannah

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 10:08:48 AM »
Only my top five:

Wake, awake (as translated into English) - LBW 31
How brightly beams the Morning Star (as trans.) LBW 76
The Church's one foundation  - LBW 369
Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands (as trans.) LBW 134
O darkest woe (as trans.) -LSB 448

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Likeness

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 10:22:37 AM »
The 20th century gave us the gift of Martin Franzmann

He wrote an excellent hymn:  Thy Strong Word   (LSB 578)
Tremendous theological depth in his language and poetry.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 10:28:37 AM by Dave Likeness »

JEdwards

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 11:45:06 AM »
"Now We Join in Celebration" LBW #203.
One of my favorite Communion hymns, as it captures so many dimensions of the sacrament -- Real Presence, communal celebration, strengthening for service.

Peace,
Jon

JEdwards

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 11:52:26 AM »
The 20th century gave us the gift of Martin Franzmann

He wrote an excellent hymn:  Thy Strong Word   (LSB 578)
Tremendous theological depth in his language and poetry.

Yes!  I love the parallelism showing that the same "Strong Word" that "did cleave the darkness" at creation is the Strong Word that "bespeaks us righteous" here and now.
Jon

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 12:33:54 PM »
I have to go deeper into history:

The Paschal Canon by +John the Damascene (John of Damascus)

A very truncated fragment can be found in The Day of Resurrection LBW # 141
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
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Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 04:03:07 PM »
since they were written as poetry... one ancient and the other my an accomplished contemporary poet... O Sacred Head from the various membra of Christ St. Bernard and Now by Vajda.  IMO and it is self serving, most contemporary verse are not written with strict meter, much less rhyme in use or mind... so you don't have a lot of verse migrating into hymn music.  The verse of mine that has been rendered by better music than my words (by my past organist and composer) had to have any number of changes made by her and they became more anthems and passion studies and things like that.
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

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Mark Brown

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2019, 05:11:18 PM »
I'm going to put up four that I feel create an earned emotional reaction.  That may not be a good higher critical criteria, but I think it is a decent natural one.  Poetry is affective.  The "earned" is in there because they are not just manipulating emotions like lessor works but earn it through the truth they invoke.

Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling (Starke's reworking of the more manipulative classic, LSB 827).
I Walk in Danger All the Way (LSB 716)
Jesus, Refuge of the Weary (LSB 423)
Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory (LSB 416)


Each one of them works by variations or meditations on a theme.  The first of when we take the call, but also how that when does not effect the reward.  The second I think captures the Lutheran anfechtung and the path out better than anything else.  The third, suitable to the preacher of the original Bonfire, speaks to our often hardness of heart, and captures for me Luther's explanations of the Lord's prayer very well.  Jesus is certainly the refuge of the weary, we pray that we would find him as our refuge as well.  The last one is a great meditation on the moment when you realize the only way out is through and how that moment must change you.
 

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 05:39:42 PM »
Poetry CAN BE affective.  It can also be lots of other stuff, including reflective, descriptive, narrative and so forth.

One thing that could be done is to remove the text from the musical staffs and read it both aloud and silently.  Much of the hymnal's poetry is pretty nursery rhyme-ish using theological terms.  The difficulty of understanding or appreciating  all the allusions, several meanings and nuances in first reading that one finds in much verse is almost never found in hymns.  The doctrinaire does not allow too much variation or deviation or privatization  of thought.  Think of the many hymns rejected for hymnals not because they are not deeply religious or similar in their ability to be loosely called verse but because they have some doctrinal weakness or deviation.  In fact the psalms are (and they are often difficult aren't they) more readily described as poems.  I do not think you would find any poetry class using Christian hymnody as examples of good verse. 
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

Eileen Smith

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 07:02:36 PM »
Lord Thee I Love with all My Heart, most especially verse 3...

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

John_Hannah

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 08:02:19 PM »
Lord Thee I Love with all My Heart, most especially verse 3...

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

AMEN!!!

Lorna, my wife, asked for that hymn at her Catholic funeral. The parish tradition was to sing only 2 stanzas af any hymn, so that stanza of the Hymn of the Day was cut off. However at the recessional I announced that we will sing stanza 3. They did and it worked. A colleague pastor, whom Lorna asked to give a eulogy commented before his eulogy that he didn't understand why non Lutherans had not found this wonderfully catholic hymn and that the last (most important today) stanza was cut off.  Since there were 20 Luther pastors with wives and many parishioners we sang with typical Lutheran gusto! The Catholic parishioners have told me many times how impressive was our singing in their church.   :)

Peace, JOHN
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 08:10:54 PM by John_Hannah »
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dan Fienen

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 08:05:14 PM »
Lord Thee I Love with all My Heart, most especially verse 3...

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

AMEN
I have that song at the close of Good Friday services.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Richard Johnson

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2019, 08:30:47 PM »
My song is love unknown (Crossman)
To mock your reign (Fred Pratt Green)
Wilt thou forgive (Donne--I know, that's cheating.)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 12:52:14 AM »
Lord Thee I Love with all My Heart, most especially verse 3...

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

AMEN
I have that song at the close of Good Friday services.

AMEN and Amen.

One more time:

https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=6605.msg414108#msg414108
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Hymns and poetry
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 07:52:15 AM »
since it is such a favorite hymn (Lord, Thee I Love) any one want to begin to suggest the reasons for it being so much loved....

angels coming
to death as a narrow chamber image
resurrection as a simple awakening by God

there is in this hymn a unique marriage of music to text
the musicians among us might enlighten us as to how the notes mold the emotion
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com