Ever wonder why all mankind’s gods are capricious?
The Good ones, I mean, not the Evil, of course.
Kicking Adam the Gardener out of his honeymoon
cottage, and why? Just to show him who’s boss?
Coolly wiping out slews of good Greeks because some god
got up on the wrong side of somebody’s bed?
So what’s life without spice (you might say), some excitement,
some danger, a few rounds of Russian roulette?
Ah yes! Fine! But you see, every myth’s a reflection
(reflecting on all of us humans, I’d say)
and when nature seems not quite explicable, acts
downright hostile, it might just seem better to pray
to the willfulest god in creation than sit
in your cave all alone with that thunder and lightning,
that chilling indifference. Yes, better, in dark times,
to sacrifice anything handy – rams’ thighs, kings,
your children or (good thought) some luscious young virgins –
than go it alone in the universe. ‘Course,
all that stuff’s now passé. No more victims. No, now
all they want is your soul. Autres temps, autres moeurs
(and for good, I suppose), no more Thanksgiving feasts.
Still, things were cleaner then – less expensive, at least.
Discuss the poem "Burnt Offerings" with the community...
Find a translation for this poem in other languages:
Select another language:
- - Select -
- 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
- 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
- Español (Spanish)
- Esperanto (Esperanto)
- 日本語 (Japanese)
- Português (Portuguese)
- Deutsch (German)
- العربية (Arabic)
- Français (French)
- Русский (Russian)
- ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
- 한국어 (Korean)
- עברית (Hebrew)
- Gaeilge (Irish)
- Українська (Ukrainian)
- اردو (Urdu)
- Magyar (Hungarian)
- मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Italiano (Italian)
- தமிழ் (Tamil)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- తెలుగు (Telugu)
- ภาษาไทย (Thai)
- Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
- Čeština (Czech)
- Polski (Polish)
- Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Românește (Romanian)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Ελληνικά (Greek)
- Latinum (Latin)
- Svenska (Swedish)
- Dansk (Danish)
- Suomi (Finnish)
- فارسی (Persian)
- ייִדיש (Yiddish)
- հայերեն (Armenian)
- Norsk (Norwegian)
- English (English)
Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:
"Burnt Offerings" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 Nov. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/67541/burnt-offerings>.