For each of the eleven pantheons included, there are twelve goddesses referenced across two poems: one goddess for each stanza, and each of the goddesses referenced is featured in a glossary preceding each poem. The poems themselves read like landscapes with each goddess immersed in her domain. For example, in “Rebirth” Tefnut and Meskhent are Egyptian goddesses representing moisture and childbirth respectively: “morning scent // traces of Tefnut // in the moss garden // gentle waves…// Meskhent sings // over her unborn baby.” Though the structure often creates a rigid, list-like effect in the reading experience, the poets succeed in not just drawing a connection between earth and myth, but rather presenting earth as myth and vice versa.
Salzer and Hyatt understand these many goddesses as spiritual manifestations of one source: “the Sacred Feminine,” “the Creatrix,” creator and destroyer of all, and they pay homage to this source by showing readers how the use of mythology, as a way to facilitate a connection between the self and the earth, can work for people today just as it has worked for humans since time immemorial. “Mother’s Womb” is a collaborative, poetic celebration of that connection and the capacity for myth to demonstrate “our oneness with all.”
Takeaway: Incantatory rengay poetry honoring goddesses from across the globe.
Comparable Titles: Annie Finch’s An Exaltation of Goddesses, Nikita Gill’s The Girl and the Goddess.
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