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Return of the Great Goddess

Return of the Great Goddess

edited by Burleigh Muten

This small book contains a collection of short verse and imagery that is both remarkable and inspirational. There is no one way to describe the images or poetry because they differ in style and voice; any description would surly leave something out. They capture the variety that is life and experience. Each work is inspirational, making one stop to ponder or suddenly exploding and idea or understanding that was just lurking inside of you. One of my favorites is below. I hope it inspires you to seek the book out and experience its beauty for yourself.

Reviewed by Trinity


What if, a millennium from now, you are exhumed
dressed completely in gold,
every limb, ever finger encircled with sun metal twisted into snakes and flowers?

What if they find you wrapped in a shroud of silver meshed liked spider webs?
Or covered with a boulder big as yourself?
Or beheaded, your skull set in a niche to hold candles, a sconce behind you like a halo?

What if they find that you were burned and traces of the ceremony show it was at dusk,
and that you rode a chariot or a boat into the afterlife?
Or if they find threads of a cocoon that held you,
the only thing except your bones to survive so long?

If so, what would they say?

This is the body of a woman hale but bent with age,
this is the body of a woman who bore many children,
this is the body of a woman who lost several teeth,
this is the body of a woman who lived on chestnuts, and occasional lamb's meat?

This is the body of a woman, they would say, and
from a millennium of death how could you say back:

not just a young girl dead in childbirth but a woman blasted from the impact of creation,
not just a woman in her prime, but a mother of the tribe,
not just an old woman, but a hallowed elder,
not a woman but a priest,
not a woman but a queen,
not a woman but a vessel for the energy of the goddess?

This is what they hide from us:

Forty thousand years ago
a crone was buried
nestled in the arms of her young lover
who killed himself upon her death.

Behold, behold.

(Patricia Monaghan, pg. 161)




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