Reading Autobiography of Eve by Ansel Elkins

Today on I am reading Autobiography by Eve today by Ansel Elkins. In a short package this poem comes with a resounding  message for our times. It is a lovely retelling of Eve's story from the Bible.  In the Bible, Eve gets a bad reputation -- she is the known to be the one that leads Adam astray, and thereby man falls from grace. And when God begins to question Adam and Eve concerning their sin (Gen. 3:11-13), they each pass off the responsibility to someone else: Adam blamed Eve; she in turn blamed the serpent. But they both agree that there was a fall from grace. Boldly correcting the history of the bible and that of every woman, Ansel claims that this was not a falling from grace. It was a leaping into freedom.  I loved the take on this: every falling of grace in terms of the society might actually be a rightful leap to freedom.  In just a few words Elkins unshackles bonds of centuries.  This is the power of revolutionary poetry that sings oneness. 

This poem reminded me of God's Garden by Robert Frost which is a different retelling of the genesis story from the Bible. It also reminds me of Guru Nanak's Bhand Jamiyeh where he says "Why do you call her low? Woman is only second to God."

[published with the permission of the author]

Autobiography of Eve

Wearing nothing but snakeskin
boots, I blazed a footpath, the first
radical road out of that old kingdom
toward a new unknown.
When I came to those great flaming gates
of burning gold,
I stood alone in terror at the threshold
between Paradise and Earth.
There I heard a mysterious echo:
my own voice
singing to me from across the forbidden
side. I shook awake—
at once alive in a blaze of green fire.

Let it be known: I did not fall from grace.

I leapt
to freedom.

- Ansel Elkins

More on Ansel Elkins 2014 book, Blue Yodel: