early 13c., "delightful place," figurative use of the place described in Genesis, usually referred to Hebrew edhen "pleasure, delight," but perhaps from Ugaritic base 'dn and meaning "a place that is well-watered throughout"
East of Eden
after John Clare 1793-1864
The first page of my genesis
is lost in poems and play;
collecting stamps and stones.
Sunk in a dream of Eden;
soft, sun filled afternoons
that I never woke from. Rather
was expelled from. Paradise.
In our first allegory
of growing up, with a new
knowledge of the world
and how it works. Nothing more.
My despair: not that I have
forgotten my childhood. Rather
my childhood has forgotten me.
Is THIS where the Garden of Eden stood? Researchers claim to have discovered biblical site.
Researchers believe that they have found the Garden of Eden – and it could lie beneath a world heritage site in Iraq.
Christian archaeologists on the hunt for the biblical Garden of Eden think that they have identified where it once stood.
Experts believe that the Ahwar marshes – one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world – in southeast Iraq.
The site, which crosses over into Iran and Kuwait, has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO which says that there have been settlements there since between the fourth and third millennia BCE – around the time when creationists believe the Earth was created.
The huge marshes are fed by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which Dr John Morris from the Institute for Creation Research believes is a clue that they were once the Garden of Eden.
The Ahwar Marshes in southern Iraq supposedly hide the Garden of Eden
He wrote in a blog post for the Institute for Creation Research: "The Bible describes the area around the Garden in Genesis 2, even using recognisable place names such as Ethiopia. It mentions a spring in the Garden which parts into four major rivers, including the Euphrates.
"This has led many, including Bible scholars, to conclude that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in the Middle Eastern area known today as the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley.”
The site was apparently wiped out by the Great Biblical Flood
However, Dr Morris adds that there is unlikely to be any lasting evidence that the home of Adam and Eve lies beneath the surface as they would have been destroyed in another Biblical story – the Great Flood.
“We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I have fallen, Lord,
I can’t go on, I’ll never succeed.
I am ashamed, I don’t dare look at you.
And yet I struggled, Lord, for I knew you were right near me, bending over me, watching.
But temptation blew like a hurricane,
And instead of looking at you I turned my head away,
I stepped aside
While you stood, silent and sorrowful,
Like the spurned fiancè who sees his loved one carried away bo the enemy.
When the wind died down as suddenly as it had arisen,
When the lightning ceased after proudly streaking the darkness,
All of a sudden I found myself alone, ashamed, disgusted, with my sin in my hands.
This sin that I selected the way a customer makes his purchase,
This sin that I have paid for and cannot return, for the shopkeeper is no longer there,
This tasteless sin,
This odorless sin,
This sin that sickens me,
That I have wanted but want no more,
That I have imagined, sought, played with, fondled, for a long time;
That I have finally embraced while turning coldly away from you,
My arms outstretched, my eyes and heart irresistibly drawn;
This sin that I have grasped and consumed with gluttony,
It’s mine now, but it possesses me as the spiderweb holds captive the gnat.
It is mine,
It sticks to me,
It flows in my veins,
It fills my heart.
It has slipped in everywhere, as darkness slips into the forest at dusk
And fills all the patches of light.
I can’t get rid of it.
I run from it the way one tries to lose a stray dog, but it catches up with me and bounds joyfully against my legs.
Everyone must notice it.
I’m so ashamed that I feel like crawling to avoid being seen,
I’m ashamed of being seen by my friends,
I’m ashamed of being seen by you, Lord,
For you loved me, and I forgot you.
I forgot you because I was thinking of myself
And one can’t think of several persons at once.
One must choose, and I chose.
And your voice,
And your look
And your love hurt me.
They weigh me down
They weigh me down more than my sin.
Lord, don’t look at me like that,
For I am naked,
I am dirty,
I am down,
With no strength left.
I dare make no more promises,
I can only lie bowed before you.
[The Father's Response]
Come, son, look up.
Isn’t it mainly your vanity that is wounded?
If you loved me, you would grieve, but you would trust.
Do you think that there’s a limit to God’s love?
Do you think that for a moment I stopped loving you?
But you still rely on yourself, son. You must rely only on me.
Ask my pardon
And get up quickly.
You see, it’s not falling that is the worst,
But staying on the ground.
©Jeff Guess 2017