“The Goddess Nut”, choka (long poem)

 

 (redbubble.com:  The Egyptian Goddess Nut by Amanda Burns El Hassouri.)

I took a tumble off the back porch on the 4th….ok, except a broken wrist and a cracked rib….I landed on my left side falling 6 feet into the soil and unfortunately rocks….so i will be off line because I can’t ype and want to thank those who commented on this poem….when I can, I’ll be around to your blogs to read.  Thank you for your patience.

Lady Nyo

When I first started writing poetry, I came across choka. This is a very early piece of poetry.  This poem was influenced by a painting by a dear friend, Nick Nicholson, in Canberra, Australia.

For those readers unfamiliar with  choka, it is a very early Japanese form of poetry: choka is called ‘long poem’.  It can get to 100 lines and still be in the form.  I haven’t written choka in years, and  forgot how good a form it is to ‘tell stories’. One basic form of choka is 5-7-5-7-5-7-7…or a variation on this.

Lady Nyo

 

-

The Goddess Nut

-

I am the Temple

of the Universe at night,

I am Goddess Nut

I spread my body over

the dark, silky sky

and the Sun is born from my

open mouth at dawn, each day.

 

 

Invisible moon

crawls into my bowels at dawn

as does brother Sun

at night when his glory dimmed

and I cradle both

within me their majestic

glory now dulled down

until the release of them

thrown high up into the sky.

 

 

I am the keeper.

All Celestial bodies

I, the nourisher

of life and death that passes

I, Nut, sleep at day,

my stars and I well hidden

by the birth of Sun

but courted by Geb, Earth God

who sucks the night dew

from my two breasts with sweet lips

reaching with stiff cock

makes the Earth fertile with love,

and the universe fruitful.

 

 

I am the River

where planets and stars sail through

on their skyward journey,

the celestial travail.

My Houri marks time,

passage of cosmic travel

discarding their veils

til naked at dawn, retire

on the horizon.

They sleep once again under

My belly and gathered near.

 

I am the passage.

I am the Keeper of Souls.

I am mystery.

My presence lends fear to man

I touch eyes with sleep.

I round out the universe

dark fulsome Night.

 I am Nut.

 

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2007, 2012

I use ‘fulsome’ in an older meaning: excessive.  There is still an undecided element to this word in usage today.  But language is never static and blows about as it will.  That, to me, is the excitement of it all. 

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18 Responses to ““The Goddess Nut”, choka (long poem)”

  1. brian miller Says:

    jane this is an incredible write….love the pic first off…you have a talented friend…but your words as well you capture the goddess…the taking in of the moon and sun brought some pretty cool visuals…the intimations of the earth god…really a great piece….love it..

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Brian….thank you so much, first off…for reading and encouraging this poem.

    It was one of my first. I realize that we come a distance and then, what? I wonder about the different phrases of our poetry, and what is raw and honest, and what is not. With more consciousness do we become better poets or do we become slicker? I just don’t know. I’m at a place right now where I am questioning all that I have written and probably will write.

    I was moved by reading this old piece, and realized that it moved me in a rather strange theological way: I do not profess to be a Christian, and really have no ‘handle’ on spiritual or religious definitions… yet, the placement of Nut (Nuit, Neith, etc…) has a beautiful and comforting purpose.

    I very much feel about Nut as I do about Lord Jizo in the Shinto tradition….comforting and caring gods and goddesses. We are not alone.

    Perhaps that realization was what the poem centered around…I can’t remember because it was 5 years ago!

    Again, thank you, Brian.

    Jane

  3. poemblaze Says:

    This is a wonderful, magical poem. So glad I got to read it.

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Matt~! Thank you…..an early poem, but so it goes….I have a Twitter account somewhere…but I forgot the password….I thank you for notifying me on Twitter.

    Jane

  5. Charles Elliott/Beautyseer Says:

    I find it interesting to read this piece in the light of my studies to become a priest of Isis and Ra in the Fellowship of Isis. Nut, as I understand it, IS the night sky – embodies it. And if I remember rightly, the sun in this tradition is birthed daily in the customary way from the usual divine portal, then swallowed at dusk. I may misremember, though.

    There is a richness to your poem that reflects the ancient Egyptian mythology, though I think the ancients were more likely to find comfort rather than fear when they looked up in awe at their bejeweled sky goddess.

    Even so, thanks for reminding us again of the nurture to be found in the night sky.

  6. ManicDdaily Says:

    Hi Jane – a very cool poem – sensual and and fulsome in its delights! Also, there is a strangeness about the Nut – well, to me who is not very up on Egyptian Goddesses, but couldn’t help picturing an actual one – full of meat stored up (but, thankfully, since I’m vegetarian – nut meat.) k.

  7. hedgewitch Says:

    I love the idea of describing one of my favorite Egyptian goddesses in an ancient Chinese form. The Egyptians wrote wonderful love poetry, what little has been found of it–you can see where the Sufi style started, mystical and earthy all at once–anyway, this is very faithful to all that in mood and spirit. Enjoyed it, Jane. I haven’t written a choka in a long time–thanks for reminding me about it.

  8. marousia Says:

    Beautiful, magical poem – I love the form

  9. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Marousia!

    Thank you for reading…the choka form is pretty easy….considering sonnets, etc. LOL!

    I want to do more of them because the lend themselves to expression.

    Thanks again…

    Jane

  10. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Joy!

    I know so little about Egyptian love poetry, but I will take you at your word! I can well believe they do considering the beauty and depth of their culture.

    Later I did do more research into Nut, and found that she was called Nuit, Neith, etc…and Isis was her daughter. Considering her role in the Universe, I can well understand the devotion and love Egyptians had for her. I feel much the same about Nut as I do with Lord Jizo…

    Thank you, Hedge, for reading and your lovely comment.

    Jane

  11. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! K, to the ‘nut meat’! LOL!

    Nut is so expansive (no pun intended) that so much can be written about her….I have done a few poems about her….one that is more x-rated…and didn’t think it would ‘fly’ here. Maybe.

    Thanks for reading, K. and your comment.

    Jane

  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Charles~!

    You are right….Nut IS the night time sky…and I also feel the comfort of her. And you are right about the births and portals.

    There is so much more to be said in poetry about Nut and I just scratched the surface on this.

    Thank you for reading and your illuminating comment. And good luck with your studies!

    Jane

  13. marousia Says:

    I am going to try them :)

  14. ladynyo Says:

    Marousia! They are a WONDERFUL form…..more expansive than tanka, and easier, too!!

    Good luck! I want to do more, too…now that I remember them….LOL! I think they are wonderful for narrative poetry, etc.

    Jane

  15. sunmoonstar Says:

    Hi Jane, I remember this poem and reading it again I was struck by the declarative style of it. I imagined that’s how a goddess would speak, with strength, cool deliberation, with not a hint of equivocation, all of which is summed up in the three straightforward but powerful words of the final line, “I am Nut”. Lovely!

  16. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Nick!! This is so far away from ‘now’…and when we both (or at least me)…didn’t know squat about poetry….declarative, narrative, etc….LOL!

    And your lovely painting DID inspire these words….do you have a pix of that painting??? I would love to have it.

    Sometimes I think our earlier attempts at poetry were more on the mark than what happens now…at least to me. Perhaps the newness and the rawness of it all when we first start out is what enraptures us?

    Thank you, dear, dear friend…enduring friend!!!! And so talented friend that you are.

    Love,
    Jane

  17. libithina Says:

    this is so beautiful Jane – the narative – the tale – the inspiration – and all from the beautiful Nut – I understand is the night sky – I thought at first – about the nut growing a tree – all encompassing and simply magic – Lib

  18. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Lib.

    Jane

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