Monday, March 28, 2011

Crow explicated, part 2

Ted Hughes, at Adelaide, continued:

"But this world he appears into is a world where everything is happening simultaneously, so the beginning and end are present, and all the episodes of all history are present, as in all the different rooms of a gigantic hotel. And God, having come down into the world to see how this creature is going to size up - he, first of all, seeing what a wretched, black, horrible little nothing it is - he's rather indulgent toward it and tends to show it the beauties of the creation, and let it look on whilst he shows the marvels of the beginning.

"So this is an episode from the beginning, where God has created Man's and Woman's bodies and he's trying to get souls into them. The Talmudic legend is that, when God created Adam and Eve, he took soil from the four corners of the Earth, so that Man shouldn't feel lost whenever he wandered on the Earth. He moulded these two beautiful people but then he couldn't get the souls into them, because the souls out in the gulf - being just souls - were completely clairvoyant and knew everything that was going to happen to them. They didn't want to go into the bodies. So the great problem, before anything can happen at all in Talmudic literature, is how is the soul to be got into the body? God has this problem - a permanent problem - and Crow sees a short-cut (a very obvious short-cut) which has great consequences in the story later on. So this is what happened:"

(A Childish Prank)

Man's and woman's bodies lay without souls,
Dully gaping, foolishly staring, inert
On the flowers of Eden.
God pondered.

The problem was so great, it dragged him asleep.

Crow laughed.
He bit the Worm, God's only son,
Into two writhing halves.

He stuffed into man the tail half
With the wounded end hanging out.

He stuffed the head half headfirst into woman
And it crept in deeper and up
To peer out through her eyes
Calling it's tail-half to join up quickly, quickly
Because O it was painful.

Man awoke being dragged across the grass.
Woman awoke to see him coming.
Neither knew what had happened.

God went on sleeping.

Crow went on laughing.

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