Sunday, September 17, 2006


Eve To Her Daughters - Judith Wright

It was not I who began it.
Turned out into draughty caves,
hungry so often, having to work for our bread,
hearing the children whining,
I was nevertheless not unhappy.
Where Adam went I was fairly contented to go.I
adapted myself to the punishment: it was my life.

But Adam, you know...!
He kept on brooding over the insults,
over the trick They had played on us, over the scolding.
He had discovered a flaw in himself
and he had to make up for it.

Outside Eden the earth was imperfect,
the seasons changed, the game was fleet-footed,
he had to work for our living, and he didn't like it.
He even complained of my cooking
(it was hard to compete with Heaven).

So he set to work.
The earth must be made a new Eden
with central heating, domesticated animals,
mechanical harvesters, combustion engines,
escalators, refrigerators,
and modern means of communication
and multiplied opportunities for safe investment
and higher education for Abel and Cain
and the rest of the family
You can see how pride had been hurt.

In the process he had to unravel everything,
because he believed that mechanism
was the whole secret-he was always mechanical-minded.
He got to the very inside of the whole machine
exclaiming as he went So this is how it works!

And now that I know how it works, why, I must have invented it.
As for God and the Other, they cannot be demonstrated,
and what cannot be demonstrated
doesn't exist.
You see, he had always been jealous.

Yes, he got to the centre
where nothing at all can be demonstrated.
And clearly he doesn't exist; but he refuses
to accept the conclusion.
You see, he was always an egotist.

It was warmer than this in the cave;
there was none of this fall-out.
I would suggest, for the sake of the children,
that it's time you took over.

But you are my daughters, you inherit my own faults of character;
you are submissive, following Adam
even beyond existence.
Faults of character have their own logic
and it always works out.
I observed this with Abel and Cain.

Perhaps the whole elaborate fable
right from the beginning
is meant to demonstrate this: perhaps it's the whole secret.
Perhaps nothing exists but our faults?
At least they can be demonstrated.

But it's useless to makesuch a suggestion to Adam.
He has turned himself into God,
who is faultless, and doesn't exist.

"The Other Half" Collected Poems Pg 234.

Eve Speaks - Jan Heller Levi

Once I was in Eden and I walked, blithely, out of it.
How was I to know?
There seemed another Eden,
just next door. It looked familiar,
and I was tired of the new.
All day he strolled around with his name tags
Glitter turned specific, but I craved
the blobbiness of things,
the inexact borders,
the possibility that this could also be
that. Of course I was an idiot. I'd run back
now, if I could, bear his painless
children, even call the girl If Only,
the boy, I Told You So. Instead of living in this okay crowded world,
I'd make all my mistakes in Paradise.
Is that possible?
Is it?
I didn't even see the gate.
Then the gate closed.

The Women's Review of Books Sept 2001 Pg 18

Eve - Kate Llewellyn

Let's face it
Eden was a bore
nothing to do
but walk naked in the sun
make love
and talk
but no one had any problems
to speak of
nothing to read
a swim
or lunch might seem special
even afternoon tea wasn't invented
nor wine

a nap might be a highlight
no radio
perhaps they sang a bit
but as yet no one had made up
many songs

and after the honeymoon
wouldn't they be bored
walking and talking
with never a worry in the world
they didn't need to invent an atom
or prove the existence of God

no it had to end
Eve showed she was the bright one
bored witless by Adam
no work
and eternal bliss
she saw her chance
they say the snake tempted her to it
don't believe it
she bit because she hungered
to know
the clever thing
she wasn't kicked out
she walked out

The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets Pgs 159-60

Eve's Soliloquy - Collette Inez

When I was riddled with pizzazz
and hot to trot,
gnats and mosquitos didn't
bother me,
but now I'm past the middle
of that carrying on,
so long immunity.
Bugs bite
parts once sleek
as that trickster snake,
and still fair,
the blush of apples,
where curves quiver.
So says the mower
in our garden.
Adam gone soft
in the middle hasn't solved
the riddle of love
any more than I have,
pulls me by the hair,
wants his dessert
when I want mine
while time, bent and warped
in its space time event,
prepares to blow out
our lights in a tryst
with incalculable pi.

Ploughshares Winter 2002 Pg 119

Eve - Alison Leonard

Watch it.
I'm back at the gate of Eden
but this time with a queue of us,
broad, tear-stained, laughing out loud
and seeing each other for the first time.
We've found our way by the stones you laid
to trip us up.

I thump my heels in dance
along the queue.
Delilah calls out, 'Lilith's back!'
and we circle, sand-treading
each other's toeprints,whooping moonsongs
in lilyish rhythm. And yet

if our blood seeps in and out
and through one another
like a delta on the verge
of the sea so, as moon longs
for sun, we long
for the unnamed Adam,
the memory of lust and
the haunting of wisdom.

'Eve etc' Edinburgh Review 107

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