Context

Nicaraguan liberation theologian Ernesto Cardenal renders the opening verses of Psalm 19 thus:

The galaxies sing the glory of God
and Arcturus 20 times larger than the sun
and Antares 487 times more brilliant than the sun
Dorado Sigma with a brightness of 300,000 suns
and Orion Alpha which is equal
to 27,000,000 suns
Aldebaran with its diameter of 32 million miles
Lyra Alpha 300,000 light years away
and the nebula of Boyer
200 million light years away
all announce the work of your hands …

Ernesto Cardenal
Psalms of Struggle and Liberation
Burns and Oates

And here in my little space I observe that, far from being discomfited by universal enormity, I rest in the strength of the Creator of such a context, and in the gentleness of the same One to Whom both psalmist and translator address the prayer at the Psalm’s conclusion: “may the words of my poems be pleasing to you / Lord my Liberator”.

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