Sunday, 14 February 2010

Life On A Postcard...

Where inspiration's concerned, I'm in a bit of a Biblical phase at the moment! I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I've been re-reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein lately and have rediscovered and been affected by all the previous texts, themes of good and evil, and the Biblical gender portrayals and ideals that affected its Victorian author.

As a result, when I was asked last week, as a task for the Leeds Writers' Group, to compose a 'life on a postcard', the following poem is what I came up with. In my Biblically-influenced state, I decided this little 'biography' ought to be a comment on the development (or lack of development!) of the character of 'woman' in the first four books of the Old Testament:

The Life of a Woman
(From Genesis to Deuteronomy)

See here, woman, how thou art unclean
of flesh, and all living wickedness art in thee,
but still, see, how thou art loved the same
and made as one with man,
made from him, no less,
born of earth and rib in Genesis,
as daughters have rights of sons.
See how thou art done well, by an honourable
God, despite thy vileness and thy sin?
See how thou didst begin in all deceit and gore?

See also how the mighty law protects thee
and defiles thee,
see how thou art free and guided
into chains. For thou shalt not kill, woman,
but thou shall be maimed
for thy whoring, and thy adultery…
…lest, of course,
thou be guilty…or be not.
And no sons wilst thou have begot
‘less in pain and misery, for thou deservest,
as the one who yeildeth first unto the serpent, and led men astray -
thus shalt thou crawl ever as he,
upon thy belly all your days.
And men shall be as angels yet, in My image,
to rule upon you for all’s sake.

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