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Books & Poetry

Poem: Revelation

Books & Poetry

Analogy and allegory timeless and timely are thoughts behind this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Erica Jolly.

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Revelation on a Good Friday.
A scholar is speaking about Hebrew,
the felt power within each single word.
This time, the word is bread.

‘Man will not live by bread alone.’
In Hebrew, there is no separation.
The spirit is within the bread,
in each bite for body and soul.

Six am! I wake to possibilities.
This scholar now goes to Greek.
‘Man shall not live by bread alone’
takes on a different interpretation.

Someone or something is outside.
So, there’s separation of body from soul.
Now I am alert to where it all began,
that damnable binary divide.

Body? Temptation. Spirit? Pure.
Emotion? Female. Eve and sin.
Intellect? Separate and male.
Philosophy? Moral or natural.

This, by the time of Galileo Galilei.
I see that odious divide go deeper.
So useful for those holding power
whether in religion or in Academe.

And down to the labels in schools.
Vocation no longer seen as a calling.
In secondary schools always lesser.
And now that other separation.

Sciences? Superior. Humanities less.
I go back to bread, baked in the oven.
Body with soul in every bite whether
it is gluten free, sourdough or rye.

Erica Jolly graduated from Adelaide University with honours in history and gained her Masters in English Literature from Flinders University, to teach and hold curriculum positions in secondary schools for 40 years. She was the founding secretary of the SA History Teachers Association, was elected to Flinders University’s governing council and academic senate, and helped combine faculties there to increase interdisciplinary cooperation. She has also been a Flinders’ official university donor, and supported a student bursary for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. She has authored five books, two on South Australian educational history, two of her poetry, and Challenging the Divide: Approaches to Science and Poetry, which was launched by science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams in 2010.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.
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