Literary Worship: Eve

June 14, 2014 | 4 comments
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Fruit of the tree

Two of the most inspiring parts of life to me are seeing new places and learning new things. So it’s no surprise that I’ve long been fascinated with the story of Eve, the woman who lived in Paradise and gave it up to see and experience things she could never have imagined, and learn things that would change her forever.

The traditional religious line has been to condemn Eve for her fateful choice and blame her for the evils of our fallen world. But as Mormons, we think differently. As Orson F. Whitney described it, the Fall was a fall forward as well as a fall downward. It was a difficult choice, but a good one, and to Eve we owe the gift of our own ability to discern and choose between good and evil.

Imagine her in Paradise, surrounded by every beautiful and needful thing, happy and contented in her perfect life. And yet wanting more. I think I’ve felt a similar sensation walking into the streets of a new city in a foreign land, or when the wind changes in autumn, or standing on the rim of the endless ocean–the feeling that there is something more, and the urge to know it, to experience it, to become it.

In this poem, I tried to capture that moment of decision, and the sudden thrill of stepping into the unknown with only her inner voice to tell her it was the right direction.

 

Eve

He saw her rise in solemn splendor,
Flesh of his flesh, yet fashioned new.
Taking her hand in breathless wonder,
Turning again, he felt it true:

“Mother of all,” he named her, “mother,”
Though she, like he, was but a child
Walking the garden with the Father,
Innocent yet, and unbeguiled.

Did she but feel a call within her
As swift deceit slid slyly by,
Watching him speak and strive to win her,
Sensing the truth behind the lie?

Seeing the tree of light and learning
Offering forth a brighter way,
Did she feel then a hope and yearning
Bidding her go and not to stay?

Touching the fruit, and trembling, tasting,
Feeling her heart beat fresh and free,
Standing a moment, struck, then hasting,
Flying to bring him to the tree,

Till they stood face to face like strangers,
Flung from a fabled, fruitful land
Into the world with all its dangers,
Into forever, hand in hand.

photo credit

4 Responses to Literary Worship: Eve

  1. Cameron N. on June 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Thank you Sarah. I love the introspective an empathetic approach. It makes it very powerful. If everyone pondered scriptures with this much empathy, amazing things would happen!

  2. Alison Moore Smith on June 16, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Love this, Sarah. Thank you for sharing.

  3. JohnnyS on June 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing this. It actually echoes the last lines of Paradise Lost: “They hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,/Through Eden took their solitary way.” Milton, too, I think, sees this as a fall forward. He mentions that Adam and Eve realize upon being cast out that they have “a paradise within,” which I always took to imply that the fall is supposed to make us more introspective, independent and self-reliant.

  4. Ben H on June 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Beautiful, Sarah!

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