The All Gift by Charl Landsberg

Charl Landsberg | March 16th, 2018 | poetry | No Comments


I suppose if our Lord set us up to fail,
what better game to play than be foil.
A tear to men’s ship’s sail.
An albatross to your army’s toil.
So our Lord’s children would look and beg,
and plead to be in his mercy.
So you know what he did?
He gave you a broken box,
called it a blessing for your sake,
and blamed me for his doing.
When I held it and all it could do was break.
And he poured his regret,
like wine from an amphora,
calling me a gift to all:
his all gift, his pan dora.
And so I was blamed by you,
for a scheme hatched on mountains,
while my daughters are drowned as witches,
in communion fountains.

Pandora (pan dora / παν δώρα) literally means the all-gift, the all gifted. She was given to humanity by Zeus as punishment for the fire that was given to them, stolen by Prometheus from Hephaestus. She was the first woman. She was a double-sided gift, given along with the jar (rendered as Pandora’s Box in modern times) that contained all the world’s evils. She was set up to open the jar releasing all the evil into the world. This story is often grounds for many ancient Greeks defending their misogyny, blaming the world’s evils on women (cf. Adam and Eve, and misogyny blamed on women for the Garden of Eden). Hesiod uses her story to refer to women as evil. This trope of blaming women for the world’s evils is quite commonplace in ancient mythologies.

Poet Bio

Charl Landsberg is a transgender queer South African writer, poet, musician, and artist, who’s work often focuses on issues of feminism, social justice, anti-racism, etc.

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