Praise, pepek the assassin

hmmm… can’t seem to let this one go. Joyce (pepek) has changed a line in her poem, Praise, written to accompany the image below. I am posting both versions below. Would love to hear your response to the change…

. praise, by joyce davis (pepek the assassin) version 1

,. praise by joyce davis (pepek the assassin) version 2 – you choose

This entry was posted in art, callings, collaborative storybook, ekphrasis, image prompts, joyce ellen davis, painting, pepektheassassin, poetry, stories. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Praise, pepek the assassin

  1. Paul says:

    Oh no. That was a fascinating thing because I really liked the first version but the second linkage doesn’t work, Rick. Never mind.


  2. Paul says:

    From forgive me to thankyou. Forgive me has a much greater dramatic force in that is quite unsettling, implying as it does some terrible sin in the narrator and perhaps fear of the figure to which it is addressed. Thankyou however is more in keeping with title, Praise, but has much less dramatic force. The relationship between the narrator and the image/godthingy in the poem is changed quite significantly. Forgive me is probably a more effective poem, thankyou a more cohesive and less unsettling thought. Perhaps the thankyou is a result of feeling forgiven?


  3. rick mobbs says:

    What was it Jung said about the work of the human being is to reconcile the opposites in our nature? Something like that. I think most of us can relate to both versions, the contrite and fearful, the awe-struck, and to the immense flow of gratitude, the relief at the knowledge of wholeness and unity, oneness with the higher power.

    I can understand and relate to both versions but the power of the primal drama of the first appeals to me.


  4. rick mobbs says:

    from Paul:

    Yes, the poem is like a fusion of dualities in the diety but the
    ending pulls the narrative voice out of that duality into the
    aloneless or sense of separation that is the primal urge behind the
    human spiritual quest, trying to reunite with the divine. I find the
    begging for forgiveness one very powerful too but I also find that
    thought, on ones knees begging forgiveness quite Catholic and
    offputting. It is not something I feel any need to do or urge toward
    and I find it very difficult to imagine any diety that would require
    or enjoy that as anything but an insecure psycopath, I’m afraid. What
    kind of a God requires begging? I wonder. I have no sense of original
    sin or of any sin, just of being human. Thankyou on the other hand is
    fundamental in my spirituality and probably in all spiritualities. So
    for me the forgive me poem is more primal and powerful but as I said,
    offputting, there is for me somthing quite distasteful in it. A really
    interesting and thought provoking exercise though, it will be
    interesting to see how others respond.


  5. rick mobbs says:

    I guess maybe I read the forgive me forgive me not as begging or the god as a merciless, wicked, old testament sort of deity – a god in our own image – but rather more as a sudden blinding understanding of one’s not understanding, as if the veil has fallen away or been ripped away and the huge, awful, impassive, impersonal, personal, all and nothing at all container of all contradictions, mother of all contradictions, the nothing, nothing, nothing and the swirling, blasting, forge of creation were suddenly visible and one suddenly saw one’s place in the scheme of things and knew that place to be simultaneously at the center and at the farthest, farthest, farthest edge. Joyce’s poem could have also ended with Wow! Wow! Wow! It would be like suddenly seeing through the walls and worlds, eyeball to eyeball with the entire Tibetan Buddhist pantheon. I know I’d be saying, Holy Fucking Shit! Or something like that.

    But then again, maybe I’ll think something else in a few minutes. Speaking of insecure psychopathic gods, you would probably appreciate The Body in Pain: the making and unmaking of the world, by Elaine Scarry. I found it dense (double dense) and complex but also wonderfully interesting.


  6. Paul says:

    Awe, yes, sense of awe as in awesome and awful.


  7. christine says:

    It’s interesting how changing the repetition of one phrase or word can alter the final outcome so much.

    Each ending has its merits, as you both have pointed out, far more eloquently and profusely than I could!

    Joyce’s poem rolls like thunder, like a roiling primordial soup. Maybe neither the forgive me nor the thank you is needed, simply allow the reader to trail off in thought with the alpha and the Omega, let the thoughts keep rolling out there.

    But that’s just my opinion. I don’t like picking one over the other, I’m too fair minded, always seeing both sides, and too willing to play devil’s advocate.


  8. rick mobbs says:

    She found us. What did she say?


  9. Perhaps Reconciliation–which is kind of both forgive me and thank you, and seems to be a theme I’ve used a lot lately….

    Forgiveness implies absolution, which ultimately requires thank you. I was always taught that one should end a prayer with thanks.

    Nevertheless. I am open to suggestions and discussion. I’m easy. I said: hmm. Which means: I am interested in what you’re saying. I haven’t had this much attention paid to me since the day I got married!


  10. PS I wonder if Elaine Scarry is related to Richard Scarry? They would make an interesting pair!


  11. marlowe44 says:

    For some inexplicable reason, I prefer the first version. I do not see the narrator as repentent, but rather forgiving of self. Like love of self, this type of forgiveness is essential to spiritual health and growth. Joyce is an awesome writer and fine poet, and certainly it is clear as to why “Praise” caught Rick’s attention.



  12. johemmant says:

    Yep, Joyce is a favourite poet of mine and I love both…..regardless of meaning, forgive ‘sounds’ better, and having the humility to ask for forgiveness is fundamental to being part of any successful tribe. I like the thank you, though thank is an ugly-sounding word, a little clunky. I like Rick’s interpretation and vote for the first, though I love the second too.


  13. OK. You win! (Jo’s comment about “clunky” swayed the day!)


  14. Try this link. Click on my name and see if it works. Last comment (14) won’t work…try this.


  15. rick mobbs says:

    Hey! Just got your note. Good for you, the link works!

    I actually like and respond to both versions of the poem and don’t see a need to change anything unless it’s something you want to do. I thought your note about reconciliation was right on. And I like prayers that start with ‘thank you’, too. As in, thank you thank you thank you oh thank you… works great for beginning, middle, and end.

    I brought the question about the different versions up because I love the poem and because the ‘why’ of my interest in the change was puzzling and interesting to follow and talk about. But I could see “clunky” cinching it for me, too. Beauty is a funny thing. So demanding, asking for such tiny changes in order to make something right, in order to be able to call something done.

    Thanks for claiming Jason as your own. They are all our kids, aren’t they?

    p.s. thought you lived in salt lake?


  16. johemmant says:

    Ooops, sorry *grin*.


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