Myth-morphed history (Poetry Monthly)
In the Gilgamesh epic tale
global flood legends,
the world over) –
– frightening the sending council of squabbling gods,
by its ferocity,
(struggling with itself
like a woman writhing in labour)
as it covered the earth;
– and they starved during the flood
while there were none around, able to
offer sacrifices to them (?!);
Utnapishtim was warned by the god
who made man, and told to build a boat
that was cube-like
(which would be ridiculously unstable!)
– how odd –,
and to take in all kinds of living creatures
and seal it with pitch, then enter with his family
and a few others.
When the flood receded,
the ark lodged on a mount,
and birds were sent out to test
the state of the receding waters,
(though in a less logical order than in the Bible account).
mankind had turned to wickedness and anarchy:
told Noah he must build an ark,
now shown to make
a shape both large and stable,
for the coming conditions,
and to house the range
of land animals, safely, securely.
God, stern, but merciful,
warning, giving time
before the disaster,
but no-one outside Noah’s family
believed and asked for refuge.
Tale retold orally,
for dramatic effect?
but pointing back to the reality
there was a great and global flood
at the time of Noah.