Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "The Snake Goddess"

This poem is kind of an "extra" from the September Poetry Fishbowl. It wasn't written during the fishbowl proper; I got it while I was out browsing historical websites because browngirl got me thinking about Minoans again. I went looking for images of the Snake Goddess, and found more than just the one I remembered. When I mentioned writing the poem, browngirl decided to sponsor it, so here it is for your enjoyment.


The Snake Goddess



Forgotten in museums,
She hides behind the glass.
She stands on bald green velvet
That does not look like grass.

Yet something in her bearing
Speaks of an iron will –
Her breasts, her crown, her serpents
Are mighty symbols still.

Was this the inspiration
From which Medusa sprang?
Was this what women twisted
With tongue and scale and fang?

Was this, the pride of Knossos,
Its peril in disguise?
Was this what drained the storehouse
Before the hungry eyes?

Was this what men once dreaded,
And sought to bind and tie –
The Goddess in Her courage,
The curling snakes held high?

Was this what made them shudder
And turned their hearts to stone –
The priestess in her headdress,
Whose power was her own?

Was this the grain of truth, then,
From which the Gorgon grew?
Athena in her envy
Gave patriarchs their coup.

The daughters of the present
Search history for clues,
But gnosis keeps its secrets.
The Goddess keeps Her dues.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, gender studies, history, paganism, poem, poetry
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