Claim Thy Power

Why is it women bear the blame?
Eve, in the garden of Eden
picked fruit from that forbidden tree.
With juice dripping down her chin,
she offered its flesh to Adam.
Adam took the bite, yet bears little blame.

Persephone, stolen away by Hades,
hungers for light in the underworld.
Eats six pomegranate seeds
only to learn she, not Hades,
bears the blame
for autumn and winter’s chill.

Who writes these tales?
Codifies them into myths believed?
Ah men, they are the shapeshifters.
I call on thee to reposition these stories,
reveal the weakness of Adam
the cunning treachery of Hades.

Take up the flowers, the scepter too.
Power in the womb, provider of the world.
Power in the breast, nourishment for all.
Power in the mind, our acuity revealed.
I call on you, deny your herstory no longer.
Claim your rightful place at the table,
and it’s not in the middle of the men.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Sarah asks us to be inspired by the myth of Persephone and write a poem that is somehow related .

Persephone is the daughter of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, fruit and grains. She was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld. Ceres searched for her, leaving the crops to fail. Zeus, king of gods and father to Persephone, intervened and ruled that if Persephone had not eaten anything in the underworld, she could return to Ceres, above ground. Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds. Zeus consequently allowed her to return above ground for only six months of the year, thus creating the seasons. She is above ground for spring and summer, spreading flowers and seeds. She is below ground for autumn and winter, thus causing the demise of crops, flowers, etc. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

32 thoughts on “Claim Thy Power

  1. sanaarizvi August 3, 2021 / 3:22 pm

    I absolutely love, love, love this! Such a gorgeously composed poem depicting the many trials and tribulations women go through. Especially like; “Eats six pomegranate seeds only to learn she, not Hades, bears the blame for autumn and winter’s chill.” I say bury him beneath the snow! 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 5, 2021 / 2:00 pm

      So glad you enjoyed! LOVE your feisty reply!


  2. msjadeli August 3, 2021 / 3:22 pm

    It looks like you also have some reservations about the myth and how it plays out, Lillian. I see every poem so far on the trail has reservations about it. I agree with you 100%. Fairy tales/myths/etc. are cultural indoctrination for the time they were written in. It’s about time these tales are re-written. Actually I think some have done just that but have no titles or authors to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ingrid August 3, 2021 / 3:58 pm

    ‘Why is it women bear the blame?’ – because men wrote the history and the poems…until now! So glad we’re finding our voices and reclaiming our rightful place again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 5, 2021 / 2:01 pm

      I took a course in grad school on women’s herstory… MUCH there!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sarahsouthwest August 3, 2021 / 4:08 pm

    I love this so much! The righteous anger and then the glorious last verse. I can recommend “Pandora’s Jar” as a great look at how women have been maligned in myth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 5, 2021 / 2:02 pm

      Glad you enjoyed, Sarah! Will definitely look that up.


  5. Lucy August 3, 2021 / 4:50 pm

    So well said! I honestly did not see the common pattern through these stories with women bearing the blame until now. That’s honestly disturbing since it distorts the truth of these characters/people and their situations, but sadly it shows who wrote them this way. It does reveal the time they were in too, but at least we always have retellings now. 😀 Beautifully and powerfully written.


    • lillian August 5, 2021 / 2:02 pm

      Thank you Lucy. Your response means a lot to me. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beverly Crawford August 3, 2021 / 5:04 pm

    I wondered at the source of them all, too. You took a scholarly approach, and mine is more a spoof. I enjoyed yours very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. merrildsmith August 3, 2021 / 8:56 pm

    All so true, Lillian! Excellent. I think it’s because men have feared women’s power.
    I wonder if Eve’s fruit was a pomegranate, too?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ben Alexander August 4, 2021 / 6:15 am

    I completely agree with you, Lillian – one question – what do you mean by “in the middle of the men”? That line caught me off-guard!


    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 4, 2021 / 8:13 am

      Sit at the head of the table, not in the midst of all the men😊. Be seen and be heard. Assert yourself. Or as the saying goes, lean in.


    • lillian August 5, 2021 / 2:04 pm

      Glad! Good to see you here 😉


  9. katiemiafrederick August 4, 2021 / 8:11 am

    Here’s A Little Secret
    That Should Be

    Obvious Now
    “Incels” Wrote
    The Bible Became
    Priests And Popes
    And Still Spend


    Time on

    Reddit As
    Losers Complaining

    About Women…

    Note: On The
    Other Hand
    There Are


    Of Women
    In My


    i Use A


    LoVE ReaL


    All Myths

    Love Not Afraid
    To Be Equally




    AS HuWoMaN…🪴

    One Plant One
    One Star
    One Dance
    SonG LoVE
    In General Dudes
    Hate me… Go Figure🌟🎶 🎼

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 5, 2021 / 2:04 pm

      Always love your responses! So good to see you here today!

      Liked by 1 person

      • katiemiafrederick August 5, 2021 / 2:13 pm

        SMiles Lillian… Yes
        Always A Pleasure
        To Stop By Hope
        All Is
        Happy For
        You In Boston
        Dear FRiEnD

        In These Extremely
        Interesting Days

        Hehe Do Wish
        Me Luck In
        The Boiling
        Point Now
        Of Northwest
        Florida Pandemic
        Ignorance Yet True
        My Wings Are Well


        To Rise
        Out of Fires
        Beyond What
        Most Folks Will
        Imagine Backwards Here🔥


  10. VJ Knutson August 4, 2021 / 11:34 am

    I tell my husband all the time that a wive’s wedding vows are to “love, honour, and take blame”.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hank Kaykuala August 4, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    I call on you, deny your herstory no longer.
    Claim your rightful place at the table,

    Love your call for women’s power to rewrite HIStory to HERstory. A clever twist never realised by many. A strong write Lillian!


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Brendan August 4, 2021 / 4:36 pm

    Words were created to bind the Goddess, myths to feed her breath to the kiln.


    • lillian August 5, 2021 / 2:05 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Brendan.


  13. sean@bogie August 5, 2021 / 2:21 am

    Well put. The modern legacy of ancient tales is millennia of reinforcement of gendered values.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s