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DESERT MOON (by Dr. Antoinette Voget)
Desert moon, moon of Carthage and
I stand in your shadow, oh desert moon,
as your wind.
I am Egypt. I am Carthage. I am Sumeria
A divine mother of the desert am I and
its hidden fire.
I am Tanit. I am Isis. I am Ishtar. I am
I am the voice of the gods in the
I speak in wind
and in fire and in rain and in drought.
I stand in the shadow of the wind and in
your shadow, oh
Desert moon, and bring rain to the
I am the moon of the desert, a Shekinah
of God. 10
In the womb of the desert am I as the
matrix of all.
I am in the Tigris and in the Euphrates
and in the Nile.
Bone and sinew parched earth,
I am in the parched, thirsty desert and
in the bleached sinews
Of the earth. 15
Before the Sphinx was, I was.
Before Egypt and Sumeria, I was.
The wind is my shadow and also the moon.
All life comes from my eternal womb, and
I shall always and
Forever be the light of the desert moon. 20
The theme of the poem above is about ancient religious or mysticism.
The ancient religious or mysticism of the poem in Middle East is the religious
of ancient era of Egypt, Sumeria, Mesopotamia (located between Eufrat and
Tigris rivers and known as Republic of Iraq) and other places around them. The
religious theme described by the used-words or phrases of the poem such as: A
divine mother of the desert, Tanit, Isis, Ishtar, Innana, voice of the gods, and
Shekinah of God.
The words Tanit, Isis, Ishtar, Innana are the names of god in
1.Tanit was a Phoenician lunar goddess,
worshiped as the patron/shepherds goddess at Carthage where from the
fifth century BCE onwards her name is associated with that of Ball Hammon and
she is given the epithet pene baal ("face of Baal") and the
title rabat, the female form of rab (chief).
2.Isis was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian
religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She
was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife, patron of nature and magic; friend
of slaves, sinners, artisans, the downtrodden, as well as listening to the
prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis is the Goddess of
motherhood and fertility.
3.Ishtar is the Assyrian and Babylonian
counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna and to the cognate northwest Semitic
goddess Astarte. Ishtar is a goddess of fertility, love, and war and
sex. In the Babylonian pantheon, she "was the divine personification of
the planet Venus".
4.Inanna is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love,
fertility, and warfare. Alternative Sumerian names include Innin, Ennin,
Ninnin, Ninni, Ninanna, Ninnar, Innina, Ennina,
Irnina, Innini, Nana and Nin, commonly derived from
an earlier Nin-ana "lady of the sky". Her Akkadian counterpart
is Ishtar. Inanna is the goddess of love and is one of the Sumerian war
deities, who was seen swaggering around the streets of her home town, dragging
young men out of the taverns to have sex with her. Despite her association with
mating and fertility of humans and animals, Inanna was not a mother goddess,
though she is associated with childbirth in certain myths. Inanna was also
associated with rain and storms and with the planet Venus. She is always
depicted with a shaved public region.
In general, the poem above talks about religion or myth of human
being in ancient middle-east. The poem expresses impliedly that in ancient era
and before it, people believe to gods. For example: Isthar, Iris, Innana,
Tanit, and etc.
From the words used in the poem, the imagery of the poem is natural.
The poem used some natural phenomena orreferencesuch as; desert,
moon, wind, earth, thirsty, rain, fire, and dry. The imagery of the
poem is to describe that God is for all human beings in the world.
The figurative languages that used commonly of the poem are:
Some lines of the poem above show metaphor because there are comparisons
between two different things without using the comparison words such as: like,
as. The lines that show metaphor are: I am Egypt. I am Carthage. I am
Sumeria and Mesopotamia. A divine mother of the desert am I and its hidden fire
(I am divine mother of the desert and its hidden fire), I am Tanit. I am Isis.
I am Ishtar. I am Innana, I am the voice of the gods in the thirsty earth, I am
the moon of the desert, a Shekinah of God, I am in the Tigris and in the
Euphrates and in the Nile, I am in the parched, thirsty desert and in the
bleached sinews, The wind is my shadow and also the moon, and I shall always
and forever be the light of the desert moon. In this case, the word I
compare with Egypt, Carthage, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, divine mother of the
desert, Tanit, Isis, Ishtar, Innana, voice of the gods in the thirsty earth,
the moon of the desert, Tigris, Euphrates, Nile, thirsty desert and light
of the desert moon. Other comparisons are found in the poem that are words wind
and the moon compared with my shadow.
Simile is a direct comparison between two things using words ‘like’
or ‘as’. Some lines of the poem that show simile are: I stand in your
shadow, oh desert moon, as your wind. In the womb of the desert am I as the
matrix of all. The word desert moon compares directly using ‘as’
with your wind, and the word I compares directly using ‘as’ with the
matrix of all.
The exaggeration or overstatements also found in the poem. The
exaggeration is hyperbole. The line or data that shows the exaggeration or
overstatement of the poem is: I stand in your shadow, I speak in wind
and in fire and in rain and in drought, and I stand in the shadow of the
wind and in your shadow. The line stand in your shadow, speak in wind,
in fire, in rain, in drought, stand in the shadow of the wind, and stand
in your shadow are exaggeration. So, these are hyperbole.
Symbol is something which represents something else besides itself.
In a poem, symbol included as metaphor because symbol represents or compares
something with to other thing without using ‘as’ or ‘like’. In symbol there is
indirect comparison. Some symbols that found in the poem above are: moon,
light, fire. In the poem the words moon symbolize God, light
symbolize love, mercy and enlightenment, and fire
symbolize faith, belief and spirit.
After reading, classifying, and comprehending the poem above, it was
found a message that is the message of the poem stated in the two end lines of
poems that are: All life comes from my eternal womb, and I shall always and,
Forever be the light of the desert moon. The two lines show that people who
believe to God must be light of the desert moon. It means that religious people
must live in peace and respect to other religious people. Be the light of your
heart; be light of your religion, so, the world will be saved and live in
peace. Every belief is right.
Based on the example of comprehending poems above, the students can
comprehend the poems from the rhyme, figure of speech, imagery, atmosphere,
theme, and message or moral. In this case, the students should be given some
questions related to the poems and its elements in order to know their
comprehension of poems. The questions function to guide easily the students in
finding whatever exists in a poem.