Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lilith is Published

My 10-line poem, Lilith, was published today, a bit ahead of schedule, on the website of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) .  It won the 2012 SFPA Contest in the dwarf (very short) poem category.

I first learned of the mythology of Lilith several years ago from a rabbi who was giving a lecture on the hidden messages in the Book of Genesis.  According to the rabbi (and others), Lilith (a name having the same Hebrew root as "lila" meaning "night") was created by God to be Adam's wife separately from and as an equal to Adam.  Adam expected Lilith to submit to him (a kind way of saying that she would serve him sexually, probably in an "inferior" position), but she refused.  Incensed and probably humiliated, Adam cried out to God and asked for a new mate.  God obliged by creating Havah (Eve) out of Adam's rib (or ribcage).  Thus, Eve, Adam's second wife, Adam declared was "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Genesis 2:23).  Lilith was punished by God for her defiance by having to leave Eden and having one hundred of her children killed every day forever.

The myth of Lilith has haunted me from the day that I learned it and raised many questions in my mind.  Who are/were Lilith's children?  How could she be/have been so prolific?  What became of Lilith afterwards?  And, most importantly, who wronged whom in the lover's quarrel between her and Adam?

As followers of my yet-to-be published work set in my fantasy world of Eretz know, Lilith is the antagonist behind the antagonist in that world, the Queen of Demons--the very personification of evil, chaos, and destruction.  She hates all of Creation with a venom.  The poem, however, depicts Lilith in a different light--gives her a somewhat sympathetic backstory if you will--hopefully making the ultimate villain a little bit of an anti-hero.

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