Note on Dayenu 2019.0121Rev.2019.0123 DRAFT
After writing the poem Why pray? I realized it had the structure of the Passover song Dayenu, of ancient medieval origin, and so I had reservations about using the form lest it arouse concern about cultural appropriation. However, I reflected, can any culture own reverence for bounty or a simple turn of phrase, and is not an encomium for prayer an honor under the circumstances? The structure of the Passover seder itself evidently is a direct borrowing from Greco-Roman symposia.
If my poem's wording still upsets you please suggest an alternate wording that encourages prayer as powerfully. If your version is by consensus weaker, then are you willing to accept responsibility for lessening interest in prayer? I hope the spirit of the poem embraces all cultures and the reality that we are all in this together. If you nevertheless have concerns about my unintentional echo of the earlier form please contact me and let's explore this, perhaps after some quiet sitting and prayer together. Thank you.