Myths Ancient and Modern

Over at dVerse Poets Pub, we are sharing our retelling of myths with a modern slant. I took a biblical story from the Old Testament which I’ve always had problems with (blind obedience does not sit well with me) and gave it a contemporary reading.

deckchairsSo Abraham took Isaac’s hand and led him to the barren hilltop

with view unimpeded,

deckchair aligned for a demanding god

to witness ultimate devotion.

Higher and higher they mounted:

in altitude

in death toll

in bare-faced wails and covered eyes

He was bound – he did not ask to be martyred.

Your son is not my son.

How easy to sever limbs you’ve proclaimed not your own!

Yet our sinews are joined,

through our arteries the same venom pulsates.

One cut and history bleeds out unchecked.

‘I was only obeying orders.’

Where is the word to halt, the hand to tremble?

Have they not proved enough to this rancorous Master?

19 thoughts on “Myths Ancient and Modern”

  1. Marina Sofia – You ask such an important question in this poem! I love the way you capture the possible terrible consequences of blind obedience too. Your words are very well-chosen too, in my opinion.

  2. At Guyana, at Waco, at Ruby Ridge, swarming out of the Western ghettos the youth who are buying the Jihadist perverted propaganda–the Nazis, the witch hunts, the stoning, the scourging, the crucifixions, –when will we learn, usurp our basest of natures; probably never came the sad reply, drown out by police gunfire, by the crunch of baton on skulls, by the thunk of rubber bullets.

  3. “One cut and history bleeds out unchecked. / ‘I was only obeying orders.’”…we don’t know how to stop this..absolutely no word to halt…

  4. This is such a powerful write, Marina. I can see what you say about blind obediece and probably I would do the same. I realy like the message it carries. Nicely done. I am glad that you could join my prompt.

  5. The strongest line for me is “How easy to sever limbs you’ve proclaimed not your own.” So true…if we attach from the ‘others’ they become nothing & the orders can more easily be obeyed again and again and again.

  6. very interesting take marina… it’s sad when people are just obeying orders and use that as an excuse, refusing to take over responsibility for their actions

  7. Truly so sad when what is described as truth becomes evil..and what is described as evil becomes where TRUTH starts…

    @least TRUEST freedom LIGHT..

    for those who see it..

    alas alost..the dark
    for those who don’t.

  8. ooo an all together different ending to this version…a master not of grace but willing or even demanding you to go through such sacrifice…i could not imagine killing a kid…much less my own…denying out connection….

  9. I admire the comparison of the Abraham and Isaac story and those trained to kill today. Where IS “the word to halt, the hand to tremble”????? Really good question.

  10. I am glad you chose the Abraham and Isaac Story. There is no justification for this Old Testament parable. It is defined by cruelty and abuse of authority. I thought it when I was eight years of age and I still have not changed my mind. Thank goodness for the New Testament. I follow Aquinas who says that we must obey our inner voice of conscience, in spite of the consequences. If we stand by and watch
    oppression of any kind then we become the oppressors ourselves.!

  11. Very good rewrite. I like the depth in this, the resitance to orders, the call to responsible thinking and behaving. Your version speaks better to me than the bible version.

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