In quietly dazzling language, Women Clothed with the Sun engages ninety women from the Old and New Testaments, the inconspicuous as well as the more prominent: Eve, Lot’s wife, Zipporah, Miriam, Judith, Ruth, Bathsheba, Mary, Elizabeth, Martha, the woman at the well, the wife of Pilate, the women of Jerusalem, and others. Without a feminist axe to grind in the foreground, without pretension or piety, but fearlessly and enthusiastically, Dana Littlepage Smith has imaginatively entered into each woman’s life, by turns boldly, delicately, sensuously, intelligently, always skillfully.
Smith pulls aside the veil to let each woman speak her mind. What emerges is the female humanity of the women, some caught in appalling circumstances, some freed to new heights of spiritual and physical presence, all of them lifted from the relative silence of their lives in patriarchal times and allowed to command our full attention. The poet has heard the drumming and the songs the scribes could not hear. These women have “practiced pain like a pentateuch.” They have asked themselves “What is this heart you fear breaking?” And they have found answers in action, image, and word.
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