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Theology -- Ted Hughes

Guest poem submitted by Aseem Kaul:
(Poem #768) Theology
 "No, the serpent did not
 Seduce Eve to the apple.
 All that's simply
 Corruption of the facts.

 Adam ate the apple.
 Eve ate Adam.
 The serpent ate Eve.
 This is the dark intestine.

 The serpent, meanwhile,
 Sleeps his meal off in Paradise -
 Smiling to hear
 God's querulous calling."
-- Ted Hughes
In the spirit of submitting poems about religion. This is one I find
particularly impressive because of the unflinching directness with which
it's written - which is what keeps it from being more than just a momentary
witticism. I specially love the incredible sense of despair that grips me
everytime I read the lines 'This is the dark intestine' - because with that
one line Hughes simply kills the laughter of the previous three (and is it
just my imagination or is there a suggestion of the long geneologies of the
Genesis in them) and suddenly plunges us into a sort of minor key, a note of
unrelieved blackness. Philosophically, it's not that profound a poem, but
what makes it special is that despite this it sort of feels right.


27 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Christiane Schwind said...

Yes. I feel that much of the power of the line of the "dark intestine" comes
from its double sense - it seems to say "that's where, or what, we are - this
dark intestine" as well as "this is the dark, grimy, intestinal truth."


James said...

It is additionally interesting that Hughes puts the "dark intestine" line in the middle stanza--as the intestine itself is in the middle of the human body.

pique dame said...

To me the last stanza brings some relief since it means that we are still in Paradise.

Anonymous said...

I tend to see the word "intestine" as "in testament." The three lines and then - Yes folks, this is the dark story.

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cheap viagra said...

for me Ted Hughes is one of the greatest poets when it's about short works... He has the ability to say and make you feel so much with jsut a few verses! This is a very good one.

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Anonymous said...

Ted tried to deconstruct the theology of Adam and Eve in paradise.

Anonymous said...

Ted tried to deconstruct the theology of Adam and Eve in paradise.

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