A MAGAZINE OF ZEN AND THE ARTS

After Enheduanna, poet and priestess of Inanna, 23rd century B.C.

 

You have lifted up the wrong rulers.
Let it be known!
You have set them against one another.
Let it be known!
You have rained down anger on the people
who can’t tell right from wrong, and then
you have rained down anger on yourself for caring!

You have praised the beast of life.
Let it be known!
You have tried and failed to do no harm.
Let it be known!
You have gnashed your teeth in frustration,
intimidation, emancipation!
Let it be known!
The green earth itself has split in two
to receive you, and
when you sank down in its embrace
you regretted much, and
slipped in the mud, and
left behind your robe of fire. O

Goddess!
Tell me your name!
That I may praise you in the morning,
and assume your fiery mantle,
and show up at the party in
the wrong god-damned
pair of shoes.

 

Note: Enheduanna is the earliest known poet whose name has been recorded. She was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna (Sin). She lived in the Sumerian city-state of Ur.

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