Latin expressions explained (8): De profundis clamavi.

Latin expressions explained (8): De profundis clamavi.

These words begin Psalm 129 (or 130 in the Vulgate, the Latin Bible) in the book of Psalms. This psalm is part of the prayers for the dead, and can therefore be sung during funerals. It is a song that is both sad (because it speaks of the deceased), but filled with hope, trust in God, and his mercy.

De profundis clamavi means « out of the depths I cry to you, » or « I call upon you, » or « I have cried out (your name, Lord). » The formula and the psalm have been used by many musicians and authors. Most of the time, the notion of hope and divine warmth has disappeared in favor of despair.

Thus, one can cite Baudelaire’s poem « De profundis clamavi » (The Flowers of Evil, 1857), in which he expresses his spleen, or Oscar Wilde’s work De Profundis (1897), a long letter of reproaches and love written from prison to his lover.

Another latin expressions: Latin expressions explained (7): acta fabula est.Latin expressions explained (6): ultima ratio regum. Latin expression explained (5): vis comica. Latin expressions explained: Per fas et nefas. Latin expressions explained (3): Fluctuat nec mergitur. Latin expressions explained: « Cujus regio, ejus religio ». Latin expressions explained: summun jus, summa injuria.

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