Monday, September 18, 2017

Thoughts on translation, Part 9.14: Visual vocabulary

Song of Solomon: timeless love poetry in contemporary calligraphy. 

Topic Fourteen: Some items just aren’t familiar to modern readers: for instance, do you know what spikenard or camphire actually look like, or how they smell? That's why I went looking for modern equivalents that people might recognize: green rushes, aloes, henna.  I kept myrrh because it feels familiar to everyone from the Christmas story, even though it's not a familiar plant.    

A hind, a roe, or a roebuck comes into focus for many of us only if it is called a gazelle. 

Scholars now think that the apple tree in II: 3 at right, may have actually been apricot or quince or orange, which are sweet and succulent, and native to the region since ancient times. I did not change the wording for this design, this time, because I wanted to experiment with the shape of the apple.  But the luscious color of the apricot keeps suggesting that someday I should try a design built on that updated translation.  

Stick with me for a few more days on translation topics, and then we will get back to interpreting scripture with calligraphy.  

1 comment:

  1. I love this series of posts. Each one is the highlight of my day.