For Lilith

For We Write Poems poetry prompt: We Wordle #10

02-19-2011 Lilith Stone1

Contributors and their words:

Rosyln:sanctuary, soul, knowing
Debi Swim: spiral, vapor, carapace
Barbara: honeysuckle, rain, year
Jules: eggshells, drums, demons
Marian: roots, chrysalis, wings
Nicole: seafoam, hookah, witches
Abby: angels, blue, truth
Irene: curvature, cathedral, votives
Benjamin: filament, cocoon, stoic
Elizabeth: fortune, inky, nurture
Barbara (poem 2): nightmares, kimono, geisha
De: tangles, bloom, stripes

For Lilith

She found sanctuary in my soul,
her knowing a spiraling carapace
which protected both of us.

Some might name her a hookah
vapor, a witch of demonic roots
and tangled inky nightmares.

Perhaps a geisha, seductive curvature
wrapped in blue silken kimono, no more
than false filament of nurture and safety.

Certainly not a cathedral statue accompanied
by angel wings, burning votive candles
blooming at her feet, nor gift on a half shell

riding sea foam into any man’s erotic wishes.
No. To me, she is none of these. She is woman
standing alone. Stoic in chrysalis of owned

truth as heavy as sweet scent of honeysuckle
that lingers long after rain. Has remained
for years the personal stripe of my fortune.

Mentor, healer, sister, and friend, her
heartbeat a constant drumming echo
within our cocoon of shared existence.

Elizabeth Crawford  3/17/14

Notes: There are three distinct pieces to the mythology of Lilith. In Sumerian culture, she was a high priestess who lived in the Tree of Life and was forced to escape her home when the Queen of Heaven decided to chop down the tree to use for her throne and bed, sending her consort to eradicate its inhabitants (some say that was Gilgamesh). About 2000 years later, she appears as Adam’s first wife who rebels against an inferior position, becoming a demon who, jealous of Adam (meaning all men), steals his children, killing them or turning them into changelings. Centuries later, she is once again mentioned in the Kabbalah, where she is the daughter of the devil when the prince of daylight comes to battle with the prince of darkness. Instead, he marries Lilith and brings her up into the light where “she begins to heal all that had once been destroyed.”  Mythology gives birth to archetypes (models of behavior). Lilith has long been one of mine. This is an incredibly brief synopsis of a day long seminar I used to teach which explained why I believe her to be an archetype worth investigation.

My last post was a bit of story about a modern day Lilith. It wasn’t completely satisfying to me, so when I posted it, I decided (sight unseen) that maybe I could do a much better job with this upcoming larger wordle. Thirty-six words, and amazingly I used them all, cheating a bit by dropping the egg in eggshells.

The image is the same one I used in yesterday’s post. A polymer clay stone I made and then found a shadowy female figure reclining in semi-darkness. When I saw her, I immediately named her Lilith.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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10 Responses to For Lilith

  1. Wow. I’ve been fascinated by Lilith for a while, but this is the first poem which has really done her justice. Two quotes come to mind — from Star Trek V, Captain Kirk: “We create God in our own image”, and Serendipity’s longer discourse in the movie Dogma about how the story in the scriptures changes because of the penholders. With Lilith, this seems to be very true as well. I like how you’ve rendered her here, and the words seem to add another level of richness to her mystique.



  2. Irene says:

    She’s as richly textured as the green stone.


  3. This is a wow for me–really a satisfying read!


  4. Fantastic! Especially “She is woman
    standing alone. Stoic in chrysalis of owned truth”
    I so resonate with these lines. They describe you, too, my friend.


  5. You’ve created so many strong images here, Elizabeth…among them this…

    “a cathedral statue accompanied
    by angel wings, burning votive candles
    blooming at her feet, ”

    …really drew me in…I love the idea of the flames depicted as blooms…gorgeous.

    Your process notes are super intriguing…I’m quite sure I haven’t heard of Lilth before…what a well worthy archetype to delve into…very cool that you taught on this!

    Thank you for such an interesting and creative post.


  6. Sorry that’s “Lilith.”


  7. Sabra Bowers says:

    I had not hear all three myths of Lilith, only the one as Adam’s first wife. I wrote a flash story about her probably 15 years ago. Your poem has inspired me to try to locate my little piece about her. I love your first line…it says so much.


  8. Pamela says:

    This poem is as fascinating as the first, Elizabeth. I love it and the closing stanza felt comforting to me.



  9. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13.


  10. thotpurge says:

    Beautifully woven tribute to what sounds like a fascinating mythical character. I love that she was rescued by the prince of light. Thanks for sharing the link Elizabeth.. I enjoyed this.


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