On a Verse from the Dead Sea Scrolls


by Jeffrey Burghauser (February 2018)

Title Unknown, John Bellany


“Seek Wisdom, and find her,” they begin—
Harmlessly banal, although the brat
In me feels compelled to notice that
It’s redundant. The grim bulletin
Of their belief sees as aggressor
Any sly reflex that may applaud
The flesh to animate. Thus, it’s odd
That they end: “Grasp her, and possess her.

The synthesis they seem spinning to:
Since making love to your wife’s a sin,
You should rape Wisdom. God, could it be
More appalling? But at least they knew
That Wisdom can be found nowhere in
A life’s commonplace trajectory.

Jeffrey Burghauser is an English teacher in Columbus, OH. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo, the University of Leeds, and currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have previously appeared in Appalachian Journal and Lehrhaus.

More by Jeffrey Burghauser here.

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