Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Poem: Timshel(East of Eden)

John Steinbeck is my favorite author, and "East of Eden" one of my favorite books. Make sure you read the footnote below.

Timshel(East of Eden)

East of Eden, fulfillment lies.
What life can offer the garden hides.
If masked illusion should guide the day,
The "happy" shell eventually will break away.
A fleeting vision that the world is pure
Leaves one ill-prepared for what they must endure.
Unfairly held to perfect measure,
Might stop the soul from knowing pleasure.
For where one cannot see a darkened sky,
Tomorrow’s sun shined air is just a lie.
Better yet to know, somewhere within is held,
Hidden parts of evil with goodness meld.
The struggle’s wrought with tribulation;
Makes sometimes arduous, self-preservation.
A delicate balance to not concede;
Within corrupted ways we might recede.
And at the crossroads, in time, all shall know
The choice is ours which way to go.
Thou mayest set right the sins you’ve laid,
And chance the joys of life be made.
So in this war the scales gently quiver
Toward the choice the mind might soon deliver.
East of Eden the spirit knows it’s free
To be what faith and courage will let it be.

Copyright SGW 1998

Footnote: "East of Eden" was written by John Steinbeck. "Timshel" is the Hebrew word for "Thou mayest." "timshel - ‘Thou mayest’ - that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on man. For if ‘Thou mayest’ - it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’" - John Steinbeck.


Anonymous said...

hey STP
i am writing an english paper on East of Eden and i would like to use this poem as a reference. i need to know though who is SGW so i can give proper credit to the author. can you please help me.

STP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great poem. Really like the way you used thou mayest at the end. I have to write a sestina about east of eden but it is no where as good.

STP said...

Thank you very much.

supersmashbros64 said...

Hello :)
I'm also writing a paper in English, and I would like to use your poem. You are really good at poetry. Would you be ok (for reference) if I used your initials, or rather the whole name?

STP said...

Thank you for the kind words. You may use the poem for your English paper. Reference me as SGW. STP is a nickname of sorts.

Rachel Penley said...

Hi! I am writing a critical analysis paper for my senior English class on East of Eden. We have to have a poem, and I would like to know if I can use this, and if it's ok with you, how to give the credit to you.

STP said...


Thanx and thanx for asking, too. You may use it and crediting SGW is fine.