Leaving Eden


I was at the library earlier -you know, my natural habitat- and I brought along a bit of work to do as well. Because let’s face it, if I get too far from a pen and paper, I get hives :).

I wrote this originally for a poetry contest for The New Quarterly in January-ish. It didn’t make the cut of the poems that I sent in, though. I won’t hear back until August about the contest, but I remain hopeful that I’ll get in. Winning the first contest I enter would be insane. It’d be the squeal of joy heard around the world, I think. At least, the small part of the world that reads my blog, hee hee.

In any case, poem!

leaving eden

snakes and burning were all
all i could remember as we left-
at least that’s what i told him-
sweet juice flowed down our chins
but the look in the One’s eyes oh it froze me
such betrayal such pain and the anger
some resentment will never end
a permanent exile away from the One
ceremoniously evicted from my own home
never to hear the voice to see the eyes
punished evermore for one mistake!
were we not created to be curious
to explore and to learn and to live
he hates me though he says no
“no it’s not your fault” convincing
neither of us that he believes it
grief in the face of this loss is understandable
but to lash out at me! who else
who else has stayed always by his side
loyal to the end putting herself second
the afterthought a bit of rib bone
never complains about her lot in life
i almost believe him when he says
the One is a man except i know
much much better than he does
that a woman’s anger burns long
and she may rage silently for ages
until the right moment appears
then she will devastate her opponent
while so disappointed in them
for letting her down this way.

© Bridget Noonan, 2011.

I don’t like the word opponent in the third-to-last line, but I can’t think of a better one. My vocabulary and my thesaurus have failed me once again.

So, how did I do, aside from that instance of poor word choice? Hit me with your best shot, people. I crave constructive criticism. And alliteration, apparently.

Um, so this song –White Blank Page by Mumford and Sons– is my addiction of the day. You, the people of the internets, seriously need to own this CD. I don’t often truly love every song on an album, but this is one of the few that doesn’t stop the glorious sounds.
Also Adele’s song Rolling in the Deep kicks major butt, while I’m recommending music.

I’m normally one who likes “music for old people”, as a friend put it. Hey, just because the Beatles broke up before I was born doesn’t mean it’s music for dead people- they are still relevant, and awesome. And like, Lead Belly et al are the precursor of modern rock and roll. If there were no jazz, no big band, no blues, there would be no rock or metal or punk or electronica or whatever the kids are listening to today :P. The face of modern music as we know it would be totally different.

And what is music? Just poetry in another form.

Art is beautiful.

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5 Comments

Filed under Poetry

5 responses to “Leaving Eden

  1. Well-crafted poem. I enjoyed it very much.
    Good luck on your other entries!

  2. First off, about your comment on music: I am a devotee of big band music and actually sang with a big band this weekend, yet I was 17 when I started and all the band members were old men! So I respect the fact that you are a throwback like me. Robert Johnson and BB King I recommend, also Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, for the soul. You already know Billie, I’m sure.

    Your poem is truly artful. The repeats at the end of one line and the beginning of the next, almost like a stutter, yet not – more like how a child will repeat until they find their next thought. And Eve was a child in her own way.

    Use of “the One” for God is very effective. As for opponent, maybe “rival” or even “cohort”? No, those both suck. “Mirror,” as in “shatter her mirror” or “her mirror image,” as we are all supposed to have been created in God’s image?

    “Sweet juice flowed down our chins” as the only reference to the apple is great stuff, the idea that exile was that immediate! That’s all I got for ya, babe. I really loved this poem. Yo Otha Mama, Amy

    • Omg I love Robert Johnson and BB King. I’ve heard of Ma Rainey, but not Bessie Smith. I’m headed to the Big City (Toronto) this summer, so I’m gonna cruise the second-hand record shops for rockin’ tunes. As well as the bookstores <3.

      Thank you for your insight; there may be some rearranging and such in the future. I do like mirror- and the places it takes me, as far as the echoes of the idea of shadows, creations, reflection, opposites… Nice.

    • And as far as the big band singing goes: WOW! Go Amy!!! 😀

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