Among The Goddesses
In two intertwined songs, a feminist epic poem and a dreamlike opera libretto, Among the Goddesses traces one woman’s harrowing mythological journey of discovery. This unique book weaves together an epic poem and an opera libretto, two versions of the same archetypal story. Tutored by encounters with seven Goddesses, some frightening and some encouraging, Marie/Lily experiences friendship, loss, rape, and abortion as she finds her own spiritual strength.
The root of Among the Goddesses is the epic poem “Marie Moving.” Sweeping in vision and compact in size, this magical story of archetypal encounter takes its shape from the most famous chant of the contemporary goddess movement: “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali . . . Inanna.” These seven pre-Judeo-Christian goddesses, from ancient Egypt, Sumer, Greece, Babylonia, and India, have a powerful impact on Marie, infusing her life with increasing self-realization and strength of purpose. Each of these personifications of female power provides the force Marie needs to move her own life forward.
A unique reading experience that evokes the communal, oral, archetypal roots of epic poetry, Among the Goddesses combines rhythmic, narrative, and dramatic resources of poetry that are not often brought to bear on contemporary feminism. This magical book of contemporary spirituality voices the power of the goddess and of poetry in today’s culture.
No art form is as extravagant as opera, and Annie Finch has made a ravishing contribution to it--and to the poetic traditions behind her dramatic encounter with the goddesses. The warp and weft of poem and libretto are designed to reveal the song at the heart of the verse, the characters who pulse within the lines. Her book cunningly becomes a stage on which are enacted inspired rituals of beauty and power. A remarkable achievement! ——J. D. McClatchy, Yale University
Among the Goddesses is a beautiful book, so rare to find in poetry, playwriting, or anywhere else for that matter. I say this because it engages spot on with the sacred power of Death in relation to the reproductive power of women. It is so hard for people in our culture to face and understand this primal truth of earth being. This book will be very helpful to women who have been struggling to come to terms with the spiritual side of abortion.—Linda Weber, counselor and author of Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion