See below for detailed information on the Lilith Myth.
Lost in between awake and sleeping
lies a vision of a land half - known,
as if some ancient, buried memory
transports me to this timeless zone.
Stark against the ever shifting desert
a tower stands close by a bubbling spring.
Where fig trees grow in a cool cresent
I wait to hear a woman's soft voice sing.
A walled garden is her lonely prison;
she dwells in luxurious solitude.
For what sin can she not be forgiven?
Whose law has condemed her turpitude?
Is she in thrall to some jealous lover,
does a heartless djinn posess her soul?
Will I seduce her to discover
The garden is truly her sheole?*
I see her sometimes by a window,
she scans the bleak view then turns away,
her lovely face is lined with sorrow.
This mystery ensnares me more each day
Until at last I summon courage
to bang my fist on the heavy door.
She greets me, straight away I engage
in courtship games, she does not demur
But serves me seweetmeats, fragrant candy,
ripe figs well drenched in strong, sweet wine,
lays us down but declines to tell me
why she stays in this strange place alone.
Instead her reply sets a challenge
no man can resist nor turn aside.
"Love has no worth bound with conditions
love given for gain enslaves the bride.
I seek one who will pledge to love me
for myself, not what I have to give;
I'll give to him the world and all time
and never for a moment feel captive.
This desert men have made around us
bears witness to love of self and greed,
I rest here, the eternal woman
'til fate sends to me the love I need.
I have opened my garden to you
who gives, asking nothing in return.
Never seek for account or measure,
my own soul is no other's concern.
Abandon now all worldly purpose
commit all, without thought of requite;
this garden ever will sustain us
while we rejoice in love's every delight."
Copyright © 2004, Ian Thorpe
sheol (Aramaic) a dwelling place of the dead
djinn (Arabic) a genie or sprit, not human but can be either good or bad, as opposed to an Ifrit, a demon, half human - perhaps one of the "old race" referred to in ancient scriptures. Hebrew equivalent are the Nephilim.
extract from the LILITH MYTH: ( taken from a translation of sections of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Robert Graves)
Some say that God created man and woman in His own image on the Sixth Day, giving them charge over the world; but that Eve did not yet exist. Now, God had set Adam to name every beast, bird and other living thing. When they passed before him in pairs, male and female, Adam-being already like a twenty-year-old man-felt jealous of their loves, and though he tried coupling with each female in turn, found no satisfaction in the act. He therefore cried: 'Every creature but I has a proper matel', and prayed God would remedy this injustice.
God then formed Lilith, the first woman, just as He had formed Adam, except that He used filth and sediment instead of pure dust. From Adam's union with this demoness, and with another like her named Naamah, Tubal Cain's sister, sprang Asmodeus and innumerable demons that still plague mankind. Many generations later, Lilith and Naamah came to Solomon's judgement seat, disguised as harlots of Jerusalem'.
Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture he demanded. 'Why must I lie beneath you?' she asked. 'I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.' Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the magic name of God, rose into the air and left him.
This is the pre-Christian version of the story which, unsurprisingly is left out of the Bible (so much for "literal truth") as Lilith shows herself to be the equal not only of man, but of God too (the essential feminist?)
Christian versions of the Lilith myth paint a much darker picture, portraying Lilith and all women since as whores and scheming temptresses. The male dominated Abrahamic religions are of course all based on fear and loathing of females sexuality. The ancient scriptures also say that only when women are properly respected as the equal of men in every way other than physical attributes (in which the two genders complement each other to make the whole) can humanity be saved. Thus the renaissance of the sacred feminine, the pagan Goddess of the Old Religion, which this poem deals with, is a pretty urgent task.
CATCH ME IN THIS MONTH'S POETRY LIFE AND TIMES at the link below.
Greenteeth Poetry Library - The Lady Of Shallot
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|Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson
|I'm glad I didn't miss this one! A few days ago some friends and I were having a discussion about Lilith. I'm sharing your intriguing poem and myth information with them. Thank you, talented poet, I enjoyed!|
|Reviewed by Henry Stevens
|Poetic excellence, sharing information not generally available. Good work. Henry|
|Reviewed by Kate Clifford
|i found this very informative with great thought placed within the poem itself. Things are changing :-).......slowly.|
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Thank you for sharing this dream with your poetic creativity, Ian. Love and peace. Regis|
|Reviewed by Maria Lupinacci
I enjoyed the read very much, it is very well written!
|Reviewed by jude forese
|you've written a creative and stimulating dream-inspired poem, including a well researched, informative epiloge ... nice work ...|
|Reviewed by Zenith Elliott
|You are brilliantly talented, Ian. This poem is quite divine. Best wishes always...~Z~|
|Reviewed by Graham Donnachaidh
this one has come to me, as if by fate.
I'm having an on-going discussion with fellow Scots on the state of Catholicism in today's modern world.
I'm all for radical change and the introduction of women priests.
They would be such a boon and a breath of fresh air to blow away the old-man stink which permeates the cloisters of our
Your poem, I enjoy so much. The lure of the temptress is such a sweet tasting wine, once sipped, never forgotten.
I don't often get the chance to reply these days...but had to make the tyme for this one.
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|Very well penned Ian!!
|Reviewed by Nordette Adams
|Good poem, Ian dearest.
We see through a glass darkly.
Woman: the test for man's arrogance.
The first shall be last.
The last shall be first.
Soon comes Twelfth-Night eternal. ;-)
|Reviewed by Carrie Deveney
|Very good poem about Lilith. You've captured her spirit well. :)
|Reviewed by Sue Hess
|well written and i enjoyed the information you included|