Concerning Lilith…

The story of Lilith has its beginnings in ancient Jewish mythology, where she appears as one of a class of demons. Later rabbinical literature put her in a ‘Biblical’ context – in the Babylonian Talmud and other works. The most widely quoted account which deals with her in this, and a Christian, context as the first woman and mate of Adam is the Alphabet of Ben Sira, a satirical work of the 8th-10th centuries CE. Here, immediately following her creation, Lilith began quarrellng with Adam. She refused to lie down beneath him, and after further argument, pronounced the Ineffable Name, suddenly disappearing, according to one version into the arms of ‘The Great Demon’ (this also agreeing with earlier accounts). [‘Horny’ in the context of the poem refers to the Demon King’s reptilian scales, and is not meant as a double-entendre, although it does slip easily into the role]. Lilith has gained popularity in recent times, her ancient demonic activities being more widely recognised as her mythological origins (modern artists love to portray her as a sensual demoness) and her being applauded for her stance against subservience in the tale’s later developments; she is probably more well-known today than she ever was. I’ve always had a soft spot for Lilith.

The Arrival of Lilith

‘Oh good, a woman!’  Adam said,
‘Just lie down there upon the bed’.
What bed?’ said she, and looked around.
There’s nothing there but sandy ground’.

He said ‘Just lie upon the sand –
your bottom first, you understand.
Close your eyes, and count to five.
You’re in for quite a big surprise’.

‘I wouldn’t mind some nice green grass –
but sand; I’ll get it on my…‘
‘Just lie down on the floor!’ he shouted.
But ruby lips at this were pouted,

eyes all narrowed, face all grim.
‘The answer’s no!’ she snapped at him.
‘Just lie down there yourself, my lad,
I’ll give you present! Why, you cad – ‘

‘The Boss said do it!’ Adam countered.
‘Do it! Do it!‘ Tension mounted.
‘Look,’  he calmed, ‘it’s fun and games’.
For her, that only fed the flames.

‘I’ll call the Boss’. She drew her breath –
‘No, don’t do that! It’s certain death!
He doesn’t like to use his name!
Come on, for beep’s sake, play the game!’

He wrung his hands, and tugged his hair;
he fixed her with an awful stare.
Her smile became a cheeky grin;
she yelled the Boss’s name at him.

A flash of light. The girl was gone!
‘Hey, what the beep is going on?’
the Boss said, charging up to Adam.
‘Who used that name?   Just let me at ‘em!’

‘No, no, Boss! I did nothing wrong,
but look! That crazy girl is gone!
The one you said would be exciting –
she won’t obey! She’s always fighting!’

‘I knew it! Knew it! No harm done –
I’ll have to make another one.
I’ll need a rib, though, this time round –
just lie down there upon the ground’.

That’s good! That’s good! Upon the sand,
your bottom first. You understand!
Now close your eyes, and make no movement.
I’ll make this one a big improvement’.

‘I wish, I wish! Huh!’  muttered Boss,
‘I’ll end up running at a loss…
these females are a complication…
beeping heck… and – well, damnation…’

               -xxxXxxx-

Dimensions off, the Demon King
gazed with pleasure on the thing
fresh-fallen in his steaming land
and lay there panting on the sand.

It was pretty… yes, inviting.
On the whole, oh, quite exciting.
His horny fingers poked all round.
Not a murmur. Not a sound.

Her eyes flicked open. Then she whopped him.
Good and hard. A boulder stopped him.
She picked him up and shook him – long
Snarled  ‘What the Devil’s going on?

What the Hell d’you think you’re doing?’
And Horny knew she wasn’t fooling.


Eye-contact in Eden

Adam:  What sullen eyes the woman holds me with,
              I that am made of better stuff than she;
              she will not lie with me…?

Lilith:   What haughty, tyrant’s eyes the fellow has  –
              and yet, behind that, weak, and prone to sin…
              I will not lie with him…


The Tears of Lilith

She fled into her private hell,
she, cast of ebon sapropel;
but sheds like any other girl
bright tears of glistening madreperl.

Note: We are told that Lilith was fashioned out of sand or clay – the same stuff from which Adam was made, and thus her argument for equality. Somewhere, though (I can’t remember where) I’ve read – and I think more than one account – which has it that she was, no doubt to bolster the idea that she was inferior to Adam, made of black, sticky mud (‘sapropel’ in the poem); ‘madreperl’ = (poetic) mother-of-pearl, from Italian  ‘madreperla’. The sand/clay v. mud notion is also apparent in the poem above, ‘Eye Contact in Eden’, (‘I who am made of better stuff than she’); ‘The Tears…’ is a poem which reflects my personal sympathy for Lilith the outcast.

‘From ‘Of Gods and Men / ‘Of Goddesses and Women’

4 thoughts on “Concerning Lilith…

  1. As you, no doubt suspected, I loved The Arrival of Lilith. It made me laugh out loud several times. You really are a clever clogs. Is it ok for me to share on Facebook please, Dafydd?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Viv! I’m glad you liked the lady’s arrival – and sudden departure – and that it raised a laugh! Please, by all means, share. I’d like potential viewers to become acquainted with ‘The Ig-Og Mabinog in it’s entirety, of course, as there’s more to it than the interspersed humorous pieces (I’ve seen more than once, for instance, what a fine appreciation you have for the dramatic). Hwyl!

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    1. Thank you, Jacydo! Yes, it’s a light-hearted look at poor, lovely Lilith. The title of the last of the two supporting poems, ‘The Tears of Lilith’ I took from one by Clark Ashton Smith. His is a fine poem – ‘O lovely demon, half-divine! / Hemlock and hydromel and gall, / Honey and aconite and wine / Mingle to make that mouth of thine – ‘; that’s the first of three stanzas. As you know, I have a goodly opinion of CAS. Glad to be able to provide accompanying notes – I’ve finally worked out how to include them, and must sometime go back to other poems I’ve posted on ‘The Ig-Og Mabinog’ which are really also in need of them.

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