Tuesday, 7 May 2013


“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” - George Bernard Shaw
Magpie Tales has presented us with a painting by Mary Cassatt (1844 - 1926), the American impressionist painter, to stimulate our literary creativity. The painting is “Young Woman Picking the Fruit of Knowledge” of 1892. Here is my poem that was inspired by this painting.
Eve reaches out to pluck the fruit;
Forbidden – yet so tempting.
She hesitates and thinks
Of Lilith’s fate:
Wild-spirited and wilful,
Free, yet doomed to be alone…
The blush of ripeness
The fragrance of maturity;
Low-hanging, inviting,
Ready to be plucked.
Lilith would not have hesitated,
But look at her fate, damned…
Eve touches the swollen ovary
And feels a burst of power.
Even its touch is forceful,
How can one not taste its flesh?
Lilith surely bit into the fruit
And tasted its juice…
She picks it and her head explodes
With inrushing knowledge.
Her breast swells as her heart beats fast,
And she is struck dumb by the guilt.
Lilith would have not minded
The realisation of her nakedness…
Eve bites the fruit, and the sap
Tastes sweet, but has a bitter aftertaste.
Knowledge is useless
Without the company of wisdom.
Unlike Lilith, Eve harvests foolishness
But her wiles will trap Adam,
Who willingly must share her iniquity.
Eve, more cunning, more guilty,
Than the emancipated, wiser, more genuine Lilith.
(Lilith is a female demon of Jewish folklore; her name and personality are derived from the class of Mesopotamian demons called lilû (feminine: lilītu). In rabbinic literature Lilith is variously depicted as the first wife and mother of Adam’s demonic offspring, who left him because of their incompatibility. Three angels tried in vain to force her return; the evil she threatened, especially against children, was said to be counteracted by the wearing of an amulet bearing the names of the angels. A cult associated with Lilith survived among some Jews as late as the 7th century AD).


  1. I am in absolute awe. I am amazed by your creativity and the beauty of your poem. Thank you.

  2. Not only is this a marvelous history lesson but written so beautifully as to make me want to go on and learn more. Thank you.

  3. Excellent...love love love the Lilith take...