New Year of the Trees – behind the scenes

πŸ™‚ WARNING: This annotation is really long – this is an involved poem. If you have never read any of my annotations before, I would encourage a more gentle start, like the annotation to Vernal. You’ve been warned πŸ™‚

Preface

For real? There is a preface? Yes, because this annotation is really long – like I just said πŸ™‚

New Year of the Trees uses Jewish, Christian, and Islamic imagery coupled with biological themes and language. The poem was deliberately written “non-denominationally,” which is to say, that despite my personal Christian faith, my intent was that the words on the page could be read with delight and understanding by any adherents of these three global Abrahamic faiths, and hopefully even by readers of no faith tradition or other faith traditions.Β 

This “behind the scenes” annotation will “peel back the curtain,” and will show my own faith behind the language used. However, it was very important to me that the actual language of the poem be more universal, and hopefully not be unique to my own faith. Read on to learn about how I view it through my own lens.

As a last prefacing note: as indicated, this poem does use Jewish, Islamic, and Christian imagery. I am a practicing and devoted Christian. My use of Jewish and Islamic imagery and language will hopefully not be perceived as cultural appropriation. The language of the Abrahamic faiths, particularly the language and themes of the Old Testament, is part of my upbringing and is part of my heritage. I branched out from that base into traditions and words and culture of each of these faiths. The language and themes deployed in the poem will hopefully be able to be read in a universally applicable way by any of the adherents of these (and hopefully other) faiths.

Here goes…

OK – I’ll be honest. I have dreaded writing the behind the scenes annotation of this poem. This poem is hard to write about for a few reasons: 1) This poem matters a lot to me – and 2) it’s pretty idiosyncratic. It’s possible – unlike the rest of the poetry on underwhelmΒ (that maybe only my mother might say she loves) – that no one besides me will ever go for this poem. Maybe not even mom. πŸ™‚ This one was an intellectual puzzle, as well as an attempt to explore some profoundly important feelings, ideas, senses, and experiences. The poem took a lot of work to write, and I thought writing the annotation would by natural extension also be challenging to write.

(Added later: Turns out, I was right.)

But here goes. I’ll take this annotation from different perspectives:

  1. The conceptual outline of the poem, generally
  2. The basic layout, in reference to the concept of the jubilee.
  3. The use of the word “selah”
  4. The sets of sevens
  5. A stanza by stanza review of some of what it all means

Here we go!

First up: Perspective one!

 

Jump to any part of the annotation here (including directly to the stanza by stanza descriptions):

  1. The conceptual outline of the poem, generally
  2. The basic layout, in reference to the concept of the jubilee.
  3. The use of the word “selah”
  4. The sets of sevens
  5. A stanza by stanza review of some of what it all means

Links to the stanzas for their individual “behind the scenes”:

I. Modus Operandi

II. Chadash

III. Clingstone

IV. Shiv’at HaMinim

V. Drupelet

VI. Ficus Carica

VII. QED