Excerpts from the Preface and Foreword of This Holy Alphabet

“There is no way to lift a suite of poetry from Hebrew to English and have equivalency of music. Margaret B. Ingraham seems to know that as completely and experientially as does any poet working in English today. But years of living with, and being tutored by, Psalm 119 in its Hebrew original also seems to have taught her how to achieve, if not an equivalency of exactitude, then an equivalency of similitude or effect. Using the tools of English poetry that are her stock in trade, she has created a Psalm 119 that is identical to its Hebrew forebear in thrust, fervor, and images; but she has mounted those things in a setting of English poetry. The result is sometimes stunning. . .Sometimes the underlying concepts are so familiar that Ingraham’s gift is that of giving them back to us washed clean of their very familiarity. . .Sometimes the wording itself is wrenching enough so even the artifice of translation disappears into visceral experience. . .Whatever the result may be within the individual souls, spirits, and devotions of each of us who enters here, however, one certain and more public result will be that of gratitude. As contemporary, English-speaking Christians, we have been blessed by the coming of this book, and any one of us who ponders here for a while will know it.”
Phyllis Tickle, from the “Preface”

“I applaud Margaret B. Ingraham’s adaptation of Psalm 119 and hope it inspires all readers to probe deeper the meaning and mystery of the twenty-to holy letters with which God created the world.”
Rabbi Micah Greenstein, from the “Foreword”