The Gattung of a psalm is generally still regarded as the key to its interpretation. Since Psalm 14 shows relatedness to a number of different genres, inter alia to wisdom literature and prophecy, there is little or no consensus on how it should be interpreted. It is argued in this paper that the textual strategy of a poem such as Psalm 14 should be regarded as the
key to its interpretation rather than a genre classification. Through a poetic analysis of Psalm 14 it is shown that irony plays such a key role in the psalm. Cognizance of this feature of the psalm focusses attention on its coherence and unity and opens up a new avenue of understanding.