(Prose Poem) Cassandra by Susan Hawthorne

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The prose poem, Cassandra, is a summary of a long-standing interest I have in the interaction between the structure of knowledge and belief systems. In the late 1970s I wanted to write a PhD on the structure of belief systems in the ancient world. In a way I am still working on this. At the time, no one in the academic milieu I inhabited understood what I wanted to do, so I left and wrote my novel, The Falling Woman.

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(Poem) The Pythian Oracle and Epilepsy by Susan Hawthorne

picture1

Medusa with her snakes. Photo: Renate Klein, Gela Museum, Sicily, 2013 ©.

The language in my tongue

 

My tongue has blossomed in my mouth

It is filled with language

It spreads like a big red balloon

With language caught inside

 

A language that can’t distinguish one thing from another

A language that does not care for past or future

A language tense with the present Continue reading

Susan Hawthorne

Read all posts by Susan Hawthorne.

Susan Hawthorne is the author of fourteen books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her poetry collection Cow (2011) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize in the 2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and was also a finalist in the 2012 Publishing Triangle Awards for the Audre Lorde Lesbian Poetry Prize in the US. Earth’s Breath (2009) was shortlisted for the 2010 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in annual Best Australian Poems anthologies, been broadcast on National Radio, and been published in print and digital literary magazines in USA, Canada, India, Macau, Algeria, Germany, UK and Australia. In 2013 she was Literature Resident at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome where she wrote her most recent collection of poetry, Lupa and Lamb (2014) which focuses on the prehistory of the Mediterranean and ancient Rome. Her other collections of poetry include Valence: Considering War through Theory and Poetry (2011), Unsettling the Land (with Suzanne Bellamy, 2008), The Butterfly Effect (2005), and Bird and Other Writing on Epilepsy (1999). Continue reading

(Book Review) LUPA and LAMB by Susan Hawthorne, reviewed by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

Lupa and Lamb cover 2-1This is such an excellent book for those of us who desire Her. It is a wonderful reframing and restoration of characters and events from the archives of consciousness: not all of whom may be fully known to the reader personally, but all are introduced very well, recalled and invited to mind with notes in the back of the book and at the side of pages.

My heart opened to this book of poems with the very beginning quote from Monique Wittig – one that I have loved and used often myself: a call to remember another time and place when we “bathed bare-bellied”, full of laughter, or, “failing that, invent.” This book by Susan Hawthorne fulfills this promise: it does all of that – remembers, brings forth smiles and laughter, and invents. It is an extraordinary weaving, a poetic work in the tradition of Marija Gimbutas’s archaeomythology.

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(Solstice poem) manitari by Susan Hawthorne

Meet Mago Contributor, Susan Hawthorne.

there was a time when
we called the sky
Eos Ushas Aphrodite
Astarte Ishtar Isis
 
of course of course
and those others
Circe Calypso Arianrhod
Medea Semele.
 
all who came from
sea sun and moon
gleaming silver and golden
in their beauty
 
those names those names
a chant
slipped into as the syllables
fall from my tongue
 
manitari ambrosia amŗta
food for immortals
little golden
breast-like
pearl gleaming
your silver stalks
extended in welcome
 
Psilocybin mushroom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psilocybin_mushroom

Psilocybin mushroom
Wikipedia image

 
© Susan Hawthorne, 1980/2014 (from her forthcoming book, Lupa and Lamb)
 

We, the co-editors, contributors, and advisers, have started the Mago Web (Cross-cultural Goddess Web) to rekindle old Gynocentric Unity in our time. Now YOU can help us raise this torch high to the Primordial Mountain Home (Our Mother Earth Herself) wherein everyone is embraced in WE. There are many ways to support Return to Mago. You may donate to us. No amount is too small for us. For your time and skill, please email Helen Hwang (magoism@gmail.com). Please take an action today and we need that! Thank YOU in Goddesshood of all beings!

(Click Donate button below. You can donate by credit card or bank account without registering PayPal. Find “Don’t have a PayPal account?” above the credit card icons.)

(Poem) many breasted by Susan Hawthorne

the many-breasted ones are here in droves

from Rome comes Lupa in company

with harpies griffins and Egyptian phoenix

they howl and call like a rabble of banshees

 

from Ephesus Diana her many breasts

sweet as mangoes as the ancient Tamil

poets would say

 

Livia welcomes them provides spritz

Aperol or Campari she asks

introduces them to a group of dust-red women

their breasts painted up

 

the women invite the old ones to dance with them

their easy shuffle raises the dust of the piazza

they dance to the sound of an ancient drone

and rising voices

 

look it’s Psappha and her thiasos

come to join the dance their tender feet

continuing though no sweet meadow

of pale summer grass here

 

there’s a vibration in the air rarely felt these past

six thousand years

Photo credit: Diana of Ephesus in the Musei Capitolini, Tome, Susan Hawthorne, 2013.

Photo credit: Diana of Ephesus in the Musei Capitolini, Tome, Susan Hawthorne, 2013.

The poem is forthcoming in my collection Lupa and Lamb to be published in September 2014 by Spinifex. For more, see my blog at http://susanslambdawolfblog.blogspot.com.au/

Read Meet Mago Contributor Susan Hawthorne.

We, the co-editors, contributors, and advisers, have started the Mago Web (Cross-cultural Goddess Web) to rekindle old Gynocentric Unity in our time. Now YOU can help us raise this torch high to the Primordial Mountain Home (Our Mother Earth Herself) wherein everyone is embraced in WE. There are many ways to support Return to Mago. You may donate to us. No amount is too small for us. For your time and skill, please email Helen Hwang (magoism@gmail.com). Please take an action today and we need that! Thank YOU in Goddesshood of all beings!

(Click Donate button below. You can donate by credit card or bank account without registering PayPal. Find “Don’t have a PayPal account?” above the credit card icons.)

Meet Mago Contributor, Susan Hawthorne

 

susan-hawthorneSusan Hawthorne is the author of fourteen books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her poetry collection Cow (2011) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize in the 2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and was also a finalist in the 2012 Publishing Triangle Awards for the Audre Lorde Lesbian Poetry Prize in the US. Earth’s Breath (2009) was shortlisted for the 2010 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in annual Best Australian Poems anthologies, been broadcast on National Radio, and been published in print and digital literary magazines in USA, Canada, India, Macau, Algeria, Germany, UK and Australia. In 2013 she was Literature Resident at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome where she wrote her most recent collection of poetry, Lupa and Lamb (2014) which focuses on the prehistory of the Mediterranean and ancient Rome. Her other collections of poetry include Valence: Considering War through Theory and Poetry (2011), Unsettling the Land (with Suzanne Bellamy, 2008), The Butterfly Effect (2005), and Bird and Other Writing on Epilepsy (1999). Continue reading

(Poem) Lost texts: Linear A by Susan Hawthorne

“The project is about how history is told, how many stories are left out and how many texts are simply lost: sometimes by time and neglect, at other times because they were intentionally destroyed. One section of the poetic series is about ‘lost texts’. It includes translations and inventions.”

 

Introduction

I visited Crete in the winter of 1976 at the end of my undergraduate university studies. I had very little knowledge of ancient Greek history (perhaps an advantage in retrospect), but I had heard from other women living in the same squat in London as I was that Crete had at some time in the distant past been a matriarchy. I was overwhelmed by what I found, not only at Knossos and Phaestos and Haghia Triadha, but also in the tiny seal stones in the Museum in Heraklion. My mind spun as I moved from the oldest work, full of vitality, energy and some kind of woman-spirit, to the newer layers which struck me as tight, restricted, geometric and masculine. This was what I thought. It was an eye-opener, like coming to feminism the first time and the scales falling from one’s eyes.

linear A

Linear A, Source

I returned to Australia and began to read about the ancient world. By 1979, I was enrolling in a PhD on ‘The structure of belief systems in the ancient world’. I studied Greek as a way of getting access to the original sources.

My favourite subject was Historical Syntax. In this class we looked at the development of the Greek language, its Indo-European roots and how Greek words were transformed into other related words in Lithuanian, German, French, Italian and so forth.

We also looked at Linear B and its connection to Ancient Greek. Linear B was deciphered in 1952. All the credit has gone to Michael Ventris, but in June 2013 the news emerged that American classicist Alice Kober did the painstaking work behind the decipherment, without which Ventris would not have had the information for the decoding. Unfortunately Alice Kober died in 1950.

I didn’t ever finish that PhD, but my novel, The Falling Woman (1992), incorporates some of the ideas I was thinking about.

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