Monday, June 6, 2011

Two poems about the same old story.

Adam Lay Ibounden

Anonymous (15th century)

Adam lay ibounden,
Bounden in a bond,
Foure thousand winter
Thoght he not too long;
And al was for an appil,
An appil that he tok,
As clerkes finden
Wreten in here bok.

Ne hadded the appil take ben,
The appil taken ben,
Ne hadde never our lady
A ben hevene quene;
Blessed be the time
That appil take was!
Therfore we moun singen
"Deo gracias."

Eve’s Dream

Dawn Potter

Not of your sweet wandering hands, nor even

of yesterday’s seed or tomorrow’s green pear,

but of crime and trouble, yes, offenses that never

crossed my fancy before this wretched night:

for in my dreams a quiet voice at my ear

coaxed me awake; and I thought it was you

cajoling me into the pleasant shadows,

cool and silent, save when silence yields

to cricket scratch or throaty owl,

white moon-face waxing gibbous

and all the Heavens awake in their glory

though none else to revel in them but ourselves;

and I rose and walked out into the night,

but where were you? I called your name,

then ventured, restive, into the lunar

garden I knew so well by day, yet here

I lost myself in white light and black hole,

I staggered through puddles, over stones;

and I heard, in my heartbeat,

an invisible horror, I heard it tease me,

chase me, catch me; and I ran, I ran,

weeping I ran; until, under moonglow,

I saw my own pale hands stretch before me

toward the Tree that blocked my way;

I saw my hands embrace it, caress its satin skin.

And in return, the Tree kissed my captive lips

with its feathery leaves, as if a twist of wind

had leagued us suddenly together;

for it gleamed strange and terrible,

this great rooted flower,

plying me so gently with Knowledge:

though my lips, parched and ravenous,

begged, now, for a rougher, a crueler dram.

[from How the Crimes Happened (CavanKerry Press, 2010)]

1 comment:

Ruth said...

I just broke into song with your first entry. That poem is part of my repetoire. The idea that Mary is the propitiation for the sins of "granmother" Eve is so slanted. Whatever happened to Adam's responsibility in the whole Garden of Eden encounter with that snake??? Love that poem of yours, I am bringing my copy with me to the Conference. I am so looking forward to it.