Thursday, August 27, 2009

esther 1

as i mentioned yesterday, the next 10 days will showcase a project i did on the book of esther from the hebrew scriptures. the book has 10 chapters, and i made 10 corresponding collages and poems, reflecting my own study and understanding of this great little story. each collage was made on a 33 1/3 lp, and each poem presented on the album cover. so each day you'll see a picture of the cover with the poem, and then a picture of the collage itself. i will also include the text of the poem, so that you will be able to read it.

esther 1 starts off the story by telling us about kind ahasuerus, a persian king, who wanted to flaunt his power by throwing a huge party. you can kind of get the genre of this story right off the bat, as it starts something like this, "once upon a time there was a great king who wanted to throw a great party. and so he gathered all the people of the land, and for sixth months they celebrated. then he gathered all his servants and officials in the palace courtyard, and they partied for seven days, drinking every kind of wine out of gold goblets." it sounds like a children's book. it turns out to be anything but a children's book, though, as it soon turns a bit r-rated. the king calls for his wife to come and dance for all the men. i'll let you imaginations run wild about what kind of dance this was expected to be. a bunch of drunk guys. a dancing woman. you probably get the picture. anyway, she refuses, and the king gets very angry. he calls his special advisors together and they decide that this is very dangerous because, what happens if women all around the kingdom start thinking for themselves? it would upset the natural order of the world! so he banishes the queen forever from his presence and sends out a letter to every corner of his kingdom that men should rule the household. if you want to read esther 1 for yourself, go here.

esther (one)
what better time for a party
than such a time as this?
the king is rich, the king is rich, the king is rich.
look how much he drinks!
may his high high highness live forever, and
blessed be his name (it is Ahasuerus).
it's a royal drama, an extravagant exterior,
purple pomp and gold circumstances,
everything's a laugh, purple pleasure and gold goblets of every grape.
table and cloth, music and majesty:
the world can wait.
what better time for a party?
the queen, laughing her own laughs, drinking her own drinks,
is asked to promenade before the oglers, show off her goods,
advertise the king's vittles, the kitten's catnip.
she knows she is no object; she knows she is more than crown or cup.
she knows this won't end tomorrow...or ever. unless
she stops it now. "no. No. NO!
i will not come. i will not be only flesh."
she knows that this will be the end for her,
she knows the world as she knows it is ending.
but the world can wait. the laughing has to stop. some time.
perhaps such a time as this?
angry, irate, furious, his high, high, highness
loses his cool, makes a new rule.
("i am the king, after all...)
the queen shall never return,
she's an embarrassment.
get her out of my sight, my life, my rights.
how dare she mock my power, how can she
try to turn the world upside down?
"let every person know that everyone should not
try to turn the world upside down.
i am the king (rich, rich, rich),
may my high, high, highness live forever,
and blessed be my name.
my mouth makes this law (which can never be changed):
do not try to turn the world upside down!
(especially at such a time as this)"

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