Jewish Journal


September 25, 2013

“The Imperfect Paradise” by Linda Pastan


If God had stopped work after the third day
With Eden full of vegetables and fruits,
If oak and lilac held exclusive sway
Over a kingdom made of stems and roots,
If landscape were the genius of creation
And neither man nor serpent played a role
And God must look to wind for lamentation
And not to picture postcards of the soul,
Or would he hunger for a human crowd?
Which would a wise and just creator choose:
The green hosannas of a budding leaf
Or the strict contract between love and grief?

Linda Pastan (1932-),  Modern Poems of the Bible – An Anthology, edited with an introduction by David Curzon, publ. by JPS, 1994, p. 39 – based on Genesis 1:6-13

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