Since it was first published nearly three decades ago, "The Art of Biblical Narrative" has radically expanded the horizons of biblical scholarship by recasting the Bible as not only a human creation, but a work of literary art deserving studied criticism. In his later companion book, "The Art of Biblical Poetry", renowned literary expert Robert Alter takes his analysis one step further - investigating, more specifically, the mode and effect of Hebrew poetry in the Bible. Following his incisive and award-winning volume on biblical narrative, Alter came to realize that scholarship was severely lacking on the related - but distinctly different - topic of biblical poetry. Unlike biblical narrative (a field that Alter practically founded), biblical poetry has been the subject of a significant body of scholarship dating back hundreds of years. And yet, Alter found the scope of previous work to be surprisingly limited, particularly in its notions of 'how poetry works'. To that end, Alter eschewed previous work to present his own, path-breaking set of ideas on poetry's structure and function in the Bible."The Art of Biblical Poetry" presents three major concepts in biblical poetry (parallelism; narrative - vs. - delineation; and, intensification), before delving into a thrilling and illuminating textual analysis using many vivid examples from the Bible. Alter's characteristically nuanced analysis in "The Art of Biblical Poetry" corrects an earlier tendency to amalgamate various poetic genres - and, in doing so, reveals new layers of meaning in their distinctions. Updated with a new preface, myriad revisions, and passages from Alter's own critically acclaimed Biblical translations, "The Art of Biblical Poetry" is an indispensable tool to understanding the Bible and an important companion to the award-winning "The Art of Biblical Narrative".
The Art of Biblical Poetry by Robert Alter was published by The Perseus Books Group in September 2011 and is our 58544th best seller. The ISBN for The Art of Biblical Poetry is 9780465022564.