Biblical Poetry Is Weird

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone.

Song of Songs 4:1-2

Protip: If you’re dating a woman, don’t compare her physical features to farm animals.

The Bible is full of weird poetry. Take Song of Songs, also called Song of Solomon. Its original audience may have found it moving or beautiful, but the past three millennia have not been kind to its similes. What must have been romantic in Solomon’s day seems very strange to us.

Reading Song of Songs is an amusing and educational experience. In praising a woman’s beauty, for example, the book compares her nose to a tower and her breasts to young gazelles. Sweet, sexy or just weird? I prefer not to think about it.

Song of Songs describes the woman’s lover in slightly less bizarre terms. Parts of the man’s body are likened to doves, gold, jewels, flowers and spices. These may not be the most masculine comparisons, but at least the man doesn’t sparkle in the sunlight like a certain vampire.

Biblical or otherwise, what’s your favorite strange bit of poetry? Let us know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Biblical Poetry Is Weird

  1. Oh, did you mean my favorite piece of strange poetry, not classification of poetry? I’d probably go with Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning by the incomparable Grunthos.

    And if you meant poetry written by a human, then my vote is for Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.

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