Gilgamesh, Tablet 5: Decisions, Decisions
Here’s a puzzle for RT: which of the following versions of a stanza from tablet 5 of Gilgamesh is the one he should use? Each was composed using a different metrical scheme. Decisions, decisions…
Enkidu recovered his voice, challenged the ghoul:
“How could you dirty his pure and immortal name,
utter such blasphemy, make such a threat?
I owe you nothing! You would have devoured me,
savored my liver and heart, licked my skull.
But Enlil intervened, restrained your greed.”
Enkidu recovered his voice:
“How could you soil his name,” he said,
“show such reckless irreverence?
You would have devoured me,
dined on my liver and heart,
but Enlil muzzled your gaping maw.”
Enkidu recovered his voice, spoke:
“How could you insult such a pure name?
I owe you nothing—nothing! Your cannibal rage
would have torn me limb from limb,
devoured my liver and heart, licked my skull,
but Enlil leashed your appetite.”
copyright © 2014, The Rag Tree.
Photo: Cedrus libani var. libani, Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Author: Magnus Manske. WikiCmns.CC Attribution ShareAlike 3.0.