Adam and Eve – Paradise Ignored

Here is another take on Adam and Eve …

Wenzel Peter’s Painting: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
courtesy of the Vatican Museum

Paradise Ignored
(on viewing Wenzel Peter’s Painting ‘Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden’)

greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for a friend
John 15 v13

Images of more than two hundred animals
perfected in paint in unreal detail
carefully positioned in a still of verdant harmony
show an intricate love of the animal world
and for the very marvel of creation
in all its great variety and abundance.

For one brief moment
we are invited into this paradise
but as we enter this unreal world

there is a certain foreboding
an animal premonition prevails …

a flock of birds stir into the air
scurry above the tree of knowledge
give the danger warning
the wise owl sits atop another tree
knowing of the unknown perhaps
that knowledge is truly a dangerous thing
the cockerel at the foot of Eve
exhibits a full throttle crow –
an ominous omen
and the monkey appears to taunt
all ready in mischievous mood
proffering the reason for the disquiet.

At Adam’s right hand
dogs sit true to the letters of their name.
Below the left foot of Eve
lambs are bleating their concern, for …

Eve has left the paradise party
locked herself out to a deadly world
her skin is turning a shade pale
now separated from eternal life
alone, cold, knowing she must die
makes her desperate plea for company.

But Eve is Adam’s very own flesh and blood
his one and only friend and in a state of total need
can he not ignore! – he has no choice –
surely love and surely God
would equally agree.

Richard Scutter
from the selected poems publication ‘My Word In Your Ear’

Yes – Brian Patten – Analysis


Last night I dreamt again of Adam returning
to the garden’s scented, bubbling cauldron.
Eve was beside him.
their shadows were cut adrift
and the hum of bees was in their blood,
and the world was slow and good and all
the warm and yawning newness of their flesh
was fixed forever in the glow of “Yes”.

Brian Patten

Yes, Yes Yes ! – a poem in the strong affirmative … religion can often to be a No, No, No and a restriction on life

… in a way this is a full circle poem, the beginning and the end … similar to birth-death … remember TSE’s memorial words … in my end is my …

… Jesus is often thought of as the second Adam … providing the transformation from the negative to the positive … with the emphatic statement …Yes! … JC came to give life! … and as by-product – joy!

… interesting that since ‘the fall’ (or just the imperfect world) the state of life is a bubbling cauldron = indicating to me an on-going mystical transformation

… so the second garden scene may see the unification of Adam and Eve … perhaps as depicted by the image above … a great change from the original and that apple! … and the much misaligned Eve … a touch of heavenly permanence

… and I like the significance of the shadows cut adrift. The difference between shadow and shade (Dante). … a spiritual union taking place – a higher order marriage in the after-life

Re shadow and shade : – The Italian word ombra in Dante’s lexicon means both “shadow” (as in the shadow cast by a body) and “shade” (a term for the form of the soul in the afterlife). On the terrace of lust, as Dante’s very real body prepares for its most challenging test, the poet shows–via a lecture by Statius–how the two meanings of ombra combine to encapsulate the fundamental relationship between life and afterlife. When the soul leaves the body, Statius explains, it “impresses” the body’s form on the surrounding air (as saturated air is adorned with colors of a rainbow), and the resulting “virtual” body follows the spirit just as a flame follows fire. This new form therefore goes by the name of “shade” / “shadow” (ombra): as a “shadow” follows–and repeats the form of–a real body, so the “shade” takes on all bodily parts and functions
(Courtesy – )

Brian Patten on Wikipedia –

Brian Patten’s Poetry Site –

New Fruit – Ann Drysdale

New Fruit

In the last knockings of the evening sun
Eve drinks Calvados. Elsewhere in her life
She has played muse and mistress, bitch and wife.
Now all that gunpoint gamesmanship is done.
She loves the garden at this time of day.
Raising her third glass up to God, she grins;
If this is her come-uppance for her sins
It’s worth a little angst along the way.
A fourth. Again the cork’s slow squeaky kiss.
If, as the liquor tempts her to believe,
The Lord has one more Adam up His sleeve
He’s going to have to take her as she is—
Out in the garden in a dressing-gown
Breathing old apples as the sun goes down.

Here is a very entertaining sonnet from Ann Drysdale. We were looking at poetry from Wales at a U3A session and a member brought in this poem. Ann Drysdale is now living in Wales but previously spent much of her life in north Yorkshire.

Last knockings = the final stages of something … it is not just the evening sun as we will see later in the poem – a very apt choice of words

Calvados = an apple brandy from France – again later in the poem we will see how apt it is that it is apple brandy – Eve being connected with apple and seducing.

And Eve has obviously led quite an abundant life in a number of relationships including wife and mistress – but all that ‘gunshot gamesmanship’ is over – to me this implies a lack of effort now due to current circumstances – a feeling that she can’t be bothered in making the play of previous years.

She is in the garden by herself, apart of course from the gin bottle – raising her third glass she grins – well how can she do otherwise after drinking gin – and she contemplates her sins and thinks if this is the outcome it’s not too bad – it’s Ok to sin if this is all that happens, but of course there is the downside that she is alone and needs someone.

The fourth gin gives new hope that perhaps there is another Adam to be caught (looking hopefully to God who has supplied previous opportunities) – I love the ‘squeaky kiss’ of the cork bottle – but she lets a future Adam now that she is to be taken as she is, undressed – well apart from her dressing gown and breathing old apples  … the wounds of past relationships  … and you have the distinct feeling she is not what you might call a fresh young pippin – not new fruit!

What a wonderful witty entertaining poem with such well-chosen words.

Here is a link to more of her poetry.