John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Poet's Corner: Lot's Wife

Lot's Wife

And the just man trailed God's shining agent,
over a black mountain, in his giant track,
while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:
"It's not too late, you can still look back

at the red towers of your native Sodom,
the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed,
at the empty windows set in the tall house
where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed."

A single glance: a sudden dart of pain
stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .
Her body flaked into transparent salt,
and her swift legs rooted to the ground.

Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem
too insignificant for our concern?
Yet in my heart I never will deny her,
who suffered death because she chose to turn.

Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966)
Translated by Max Hayward (1924–1979) and Stanley Kunitz (1905–2006)

After reading this poem, it occurred to me that I had once read a Peanuts comic strip that mentioned Lot's wife, and thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I was able to find it:

Peanuts

Tags: poet's corner
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