12 May 2010


Did you know the oldest surviving love poem was inscribed on a clay tablet around 3500 B.C.? In it, a priestess offers her love and her body to a king.
Part of a MESOPOTAMIAN festival of fertility and power called Sacred Marriage that took place each year to affirm the King's potency and land's fertility and 'marriage' to the Goddess of love and war, INANNA (portrayed right) - this is a translation.

Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
Lion, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.

You have captivated me,
Let me stand tremblingly before you.
Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber,
You have captivated me,
Let me stand tremblingly before you.Lion,
I would be taken by you to the bedchamber.

Bridegroom, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey,
In the bedchamber, honey-filled,Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,
Lion, let me caress you,My precious caress is more savory than honey.

Bridegroom, you have taken your pleasure of me,
Tell my mother, she will give you delicacies,
My father, he will give you gifts.

Your spirit, I know where to cheer your spirit,
Bridegroom, sleep in our house until dawn,
Your heart, I know where to gladden your heart,
Lion, sleep in our house until dawn.
You, because you love me,
Give me pray of your caresses,
My lord god, my lord protector,
My Shu-Sin, who gladdens Enlil's heart,
Give my pray of your caresses.
Your place goodly as honey, pray lay your hand on it,
Bring your hand over like a gishban-garment,
Cup your hand over it like a gishban-sikin-garment.

FreeVerse is a weekly meme brought to you by Cara at OOH ... BOOKS!


brizmus said...

Interesting. . .
I actually have a friend who named her daughter INanna after this goddess!

quid said...

What a find! I was fascinated by some of the repetition (the use of the term "lion", the statement "you have captivated me". I loved reading this early erotic poem.


Trac~ said...

What a neat poem - thanks for sharing! I am glad your husband is doing better. Thanks for stopping by to say hello yesterday! Have a great day my friend! :o) xoxoxo

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

How amazing, Tracy, thanks for sharing this gem.
It's really fascinating to read love poems like that.
Hope you're having a lovely day!
Betty xoxo

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

And thank you for all your comments and continued support=}
Big hugs!

Kissed by an Angel said...

That was great!! Where do you find these things out!! You never cease to amaze me!!!

NabilaHazirah said...

Interesting... i like things like this.

chitra said...

Came here to say Hi

Kelly said...

This is quite lovely. You can imagine how nice it must have been in the original language!

Cara Powers said...

This poem is beautiful. Thanks for finding it.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

That was an amazing poem-I loved the story behind it. :)

Valerie said...

I really enjoyed the mini history lesson with this poem. The poem really proves that we've all had the same emotions since those early days!

By the way, hope your husband continues to recover smoothly!

Pam said...

Very interesting. It reminds me of how surprised I was in college to find the Greeks wrote poems like this. :)

Book Quoter said...

Great post. So different.

How do you feel about awards:

J.T. Oldfield said...

awesome! you obviously win for oldest poem in freeverse. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the Mesopotamian goddesses.