Receives What Happens With Simplicity - Poem by gershon hepner
RECEIVE WHAT HAPPENS WITH SIMPLICITY
Receive what happens with simplicity,
don't try to ever second-
guess the Lord, for His complicity
in what goes wrong may not be reckoned.
The wicked flee when none pursue.
Why not? Here's what the righteous do.
They are all like lions, very bold,
attacking sheep within the fold,
oblivious of the fact that sheep
aren't wicked. God, who's mighty, is
quite uninvolved, perhaps asleep,
oblivious of those who're righteous.
Manohla Dargis reviews Joel and Ethan Coen's adaptation of Charles Portis's novel True grit, first made into a movie, custom-fitted for John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn ("Wearing Braids, Seeking Revenge, " NYT,12/22/10) :
Avenging her father and keeping close track of her family's expenses are what preoccupy Mattie, a richly conceived and written eccentric, as memorable on the page as she is now on screen. Softened for the first film (in which she was played by a 21-year-old Kim Darby, in a bob) , she has been toughed up again by the Coens so that she resembles the seemingly humorless if often unintentionally humorous Scripture-quoting martinet of Mr. Portis's imagination. At times she brings to mind D. H. Lawrence's famed formulation that "the essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer." At other times, as when she wears her dead father's oversize coat and hat, she looks like a foolish child left to perilous play…
The Coens opened their last film, "A Serious Man, " about a 1960s Minneapolis professor who endures trials worthy of Job, with an enigmatic short story about a 19th-century tale involving a possible dybbuk. That story is prefaced with a quotation attributed to the medieval Jewish scholar Rashi ("Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you") that appears in a 19th-century comic story, "The Gilgul, or The Wandering Soul, " about a dybbuk, or restless spirit, that inhabits a person. In "True Grit" the Coens switch to Solomon, opening the film with the first half of Proverbs 28: 1 ("The wicked flee when none pursueth") , a line Mattie quotes early in the novel. Like Mr. Portis, they notably omit the second line: "But the righteous are bold as a lion."
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