I'm sort of a geek for Milton. Paradise Lost. Yeah. I wish I had a year to just sift through all the great language and cheer out loud for every clever poetic moment.
The whole work is astounding, and wonderful. But the best by far, for me, is when we spy Eve, alone.
I so want her job:
"...so thick the roses blushing round
About her glowed; Oft stooping to support
Each flower of slender stalk, whose head, though gay,
Carnation, purple, azure, or specked with gold,
Hung drooping unsustained; them she upstays
Gently with myrtle-band..."
To make it so everything about you lovely and cared for, nurtured. To protect, and make right. To beautify, fortify and renew. Is this not a woman's work?
And in a garden no less...
"...What pleasing seemed, for her now pleases more..."
Yeah. Eve totally rocks.
AND THEN! Without even knowing it. She tames the beast...
"Thus early, thus alone: her heavenly form
Angelick, but more soft, and feminine,
Her graceful innocence, her every air
Of gesture, or least action, overawed
His Malice, and with rapine sweet, bereaved
His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought:
Thus space the Evil-one abstracted stood
From his own evil, and for the time remained
Stupidly good; of enmity disarmed,
Of guilt, of hate, of envy, or revenge:..."
Satan, is struck 'stupidly good'.
Women, creative women, nurturing women, wise women can wield this power, and tame any evil, just by being themselves.
This is the real legacy left to us daughters of Eve. Don't know why she gets such a bad rap.
This isn't a painting of Eve. It's a painting of Mary Magdalene by Cassandra Barney.
It strikes me 'stupidly good'.