Today's Beautiful Gem: `Inanna and the Divine
Essences' by Enheduanna,
translated by Aliki and Willis Barnstone based on those by Hallo and van Dijk.
"Lady of all the essences, full light,
good woman clothed in radiance
whom heaven and earth love,
temple friend of An,
you wear great ornaments,
you desire the tiara of the high priestess
whose hand holds the seven essences.
O my lady, guardian of all the great essences,
you have picked them up and hung them
on your hand.
You have gathered the holy essences and worn them
tightly on your breasts."
Note: Do you know that the first person who ever wrote poetry in any
language was a woman? According to the Barnstones: "The earliest
known writer in the world was a woman-- Enheduanna, a Sumerian moon
priestess from the middle of the third millenium B.C. Not only do we
have 43 magnificent poems by her, but also the ancient texts, for they
survive on cuneiform tablets. We even know her appearance, for a
detailed relief sculpture of her face survives on a limestone disk."
Enheduanna was born around 2300 B.C. Inanna is the moon goddess
and An is her consort. The world literature (except Latin!) is full
of inspiring works by women. India also has a very rich tradition in
this regard. Poetesses like Auvaiyar, Vijaya, Honnamma, Akka
Mahadevi, Molla, Mukta Bai and Meera from ancient and medieval periods
come readily to mind. Toru Dutt (in English and French), Sarojini
Naidu, Amrita Pritam and others of the modern era also deserve
om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao