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Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Caedmon’s Face
by Michael R. Burch

At the monastery of Whitby,
on a day when the sun sank through the sea,
and the gulls shrieked wildly, jubilant, free,

while the wind and Time blew all around,
I paced that dusk-enamored ground
and thought I heard the steps resound

of Carroll, Stoker and good Bede
who walked here too, their spirits freed
—perhaps by God, perhaps by need—

to write, and with each line, remember
the glorious light of Caedmon’s ember:
scorched tongues of flame words still engender.



He wrote here in an English tongue,
a language so unlike our own,
unlike—as father unto son.

But when at last a child is grown.
his heritage is made well-known;
his father’s face becomes his own.



He wrote here of the Middle-Earth,
the Maker’s might, man’s lowly birth,
of every thing that God gave worth

suspended under heaven’s roof.
He forged with simple words His truth
and nine lines left remain the proof:

his face was Poetry’s, from youth.

“Cædmon’s Hymn,” composed at the Monastery of Whitby (a North Yorkshire fishing village), is one of the oldest known poems written in the English language, dating back to around 680 A.D. According to legend, Cædmon, an illiterate Anglo-Saxon cowherd, received the gift of poetic composition from an angel; he subsequently founded a school of Christian poets. Unfortunately, only nine lines of Cædmon’s verse survive, in the writings of the Venerable Bede. Whitby, tiny as it is, reappears later in the history of English literature, having been visited, in diametric contrast, by Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker’s ghoulish yet evocative Dracula. Keywords/Tags: Caedmon, hymn, Old English, Anglo-Saxon, oldest English poem, Whitby, Bede, Carroll, Stoker
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
The Love Song Of Shu-Sin
Earth’s Oldest Love Song (circa 2,000 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Darling of my heart, my belovéd,
your enticements are sweet, far sweeter than honey.
Darling of my heart, my belovéd,
your enticements are sweet, far sweeter than honey.

You have captivated me; I stand trembling before you.
Darling, lead me swiftly into the bedroom!
You have captivated me; I stand trembling before you.
Darling, lead me swiftly into the bedroom!

Sweetheart, let me do the sweetest things to you!
My precocious caress is far sweeter than honey!
In the bedchamber, dripping love's honey,
let us enjoy life's sweetest thing.
Sweetheart, let me do the sweetest things to you!
My precocious caress is far sweeter than honey!

Bridegroom, you will have your pleasure with me!
Speak to my mother and she will reward you;
speak to my father and he will award you gifts.
I know how to give your body pleasure—
then sleep, my darling, till the sun rises.

To prove that you love me,
give me your caresses,
my Lord God, my guardian Angel and protector,
my Shu-Sin, who gladdens Enlil's heart,
give me your caresses!
My place like sticky honey, touch it with your hand!
Place your hand over it like a honey-*** lid!
Cup your hand over it like a honey cup!

This is a balbale-song of Inanna.

NOTE: This may be earth’s oldest love poem, written around 2,000 BC, long before the Bible’s “Song of Solomon,” which had been considered to be the oldest extant love poem by some experts. “The Love Song of Shu-Sin” was discovered when the archaeologist Austen Henry Layard began excavations at Kalhu in 1845, assisted by Hormuzd Rassam. Layard’s account of the excavations, published in 1849 CE, was titled "Nineveh and its Remains." Due to Nineveh’s fame from the Bible, the book became a best seller. But it turned out that the excavated site was not Nineveh, after all!

Shu-Sin was a Mesopotamian king who ruled over the land of Sumer close to four thousand years ago. The poem seems to be part of a rite, performed each year, known as the “sacred marriage” or “divine marriage,” in which the king would symbolically marry the goddess Inanna, mate with her, and so ensure fertility and prosperity for the coming year. The king would accomplish this amazing feat by marrying and/or having *** with a priestess or votary of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and war. Her Akkadian name was Istar or Ishtar, and she was also known as Astarte. Whichever her name, she was the most prominent Mesopotamian female goddess. Inanna's primary temple was the Eanna, located in Uruk. But there were many other temples dedicated to her worship. The high priestess would choose a young man who represented the shepherd Dumuzid, the consort of Inanna, in a hieros gamos or sacred marriage, celebrated during the annual Akitu (New Year) ceremony, at the spring Equinox. The name Inanna derives from the Sumerian words for “Lady of Heaven.” She was associated with lions–a symbol of power–and was frequently depicted standing on the backs of two lionesses. Her symbol was an eight-pointed star or a rosette. Like other female love and fertility goddesses, she was associated with the planet Venus. The Enlil mentioned was Inanna’s father, the Sumerian storm god, who controlled the wind and rain. In an often-parched land, the rain god would be ultra-important, and it appears that one of the objects of the “divine marriage” was to please Enlil and encourage him to send rain rather than destructive storms!
Persephone Sep 2018
It will protect you from my demons and me from my dreams.
It grasps at hollow beauty and piercing lustful eyes.
It guards me from the outside through wire disfiguration
And laughs at their ohh so horrid haunting humor.
It stabs through my back the ones who want me closer
And chants a hundred times for sleepless nights and seventy two nightmare perfections.
But you see this is all just for me
So no one can steal the light that threatens to turn itself free
The one that is dimming through my very own thievery
For when I put on the mask
It stops me from being me.
We all have one
Tyler Jan 2018
Maybe parents
Never accuse
Never hate
Never ignores
Little kids
Because when
We are older
We are already
Who we are
But little kids
Can still grow
And parents
Can still think
That they will
Become
What never became
Of us
I don't really know. As someone who as been given high expectations just because I'm older and then having to let them all down it can get hard. But what part of life isn't, right?
MARK RIORDAN May 2017
MY GOD THIS IS HARD TO BELIEVE
AT 146 THIS MAN PASSES AWAY
THIS WAS THE OLDEST MAN
LIVING ON OUR PLANET TODAY


HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE
GOD MUST OF BLESSED HIS HEART
GOD MUST OF BEEN PRESENT
RIGHT FROM THE START


THIS IS AN AGE THAT IS
HARD TO EXCEPT IN YOUR MIND
HE IS THE ULTIMATE MONARCH
FOR ALL OF MANKIND


IF HIS DOCUMENTS ARE TO BE TRUE
IN INDONESIA HE DID LIVE
WOW AT THE AGE OF 146
MOTHER NATURE WILL FORGIVE


THE STRENGTH OF HIS HEART
AND THE PURITY OF HIS SOUL
WILL LIVE ON IN THE MEMORIES
OF MANKIND AND BE TOLD
THIS IS LIKE A FAIRY TALE BUT THE OLDEST MAN HAS JUST PASSED AWAY 146 FORM INDONESIA I CANT BELIEVE THAT IT IS INCREDIBLE.

— The End —