You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Dante’s Leah’ tag.

Poet’s note: This is the 21st installment in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Poetry Challenge. I am writing, along with 8 other poets this month, to raise money for the nonprofit literary press. If you contribute a tax deductible donation, you’ll be a vital part of enabling an important nonprofit publisher to keep poetry alive, to provide 12 new homes  in books for emerging poets, to run innovative projects like the Million Line Poem, the world’s only open source poem, and to continue offering educational seminars for serious writers around the country. To donate and learn more, click here.

Stories of “Leah”

Dante’s “Leah” in a dream of
“Purgatory,” pleads, “Whoever
Asks my name, know that I’m Leah.”
She gathers a garland of flowers.

At 36, I learned the significance
Of my given name in Hebrew
While eating vegetarian pizzas
And sipping Californian pinot
With Isaac, from Israel. “Leah,
She’s one of the four mothers
Of Judaism,” he said, a contrast
With all that I had grown up
Believing, based on history
Teachers, my father’s sermons
And interpretations of the story.
I’d heard of the ‘weary-eyed,’
Or blue-eyed one, and ‘homely.’

In Arabic, my name means,
“Warrior princess,” certainly
Preferable to “tender-eyed,”
A reference to weak eye sight.

In fact, it blew my mind, this new
Take on something I’d already
Accepted about my ‘story;’ to
Re-ignite my curiosity, the study
Of linguistics and narrative,
Cultural anthropology, my love:
The language of reinvention,
Pronouncing, announcing,
The way the acting coach
Commanded me: “Leah,
You’re an actor; start acting
Like it.” I performed a scene,
Let go, I spoke in tongues.
It’s all relative, to say
Nothing of “Star Wars.”

Leah C. Stetson


Poet. Artist. Ecoheroine. Human ecologist. Spiritual mermaid and Mystic. I write about literary ecology, wetlands, water, Romantic ecology, and quirky adventures with my dog.

Twitter Updates

Past Posts

Strange Wetlands Blog: Strange Wetlands™

Raecine Ardis Wilkinson

Sessions and healings by intuitive reader and priestess, Raecine Ardis Wilkinson

claire houston | p h o t o g r a p h e r

a collection of single images

Truly Teach Me Tarot

The Art of Holistic Tarot Therapy

Confessions from a Homecoming Queen

Just another weblog

Tupelo Press

Live from the Loft

Random Inspirations

Welcome to my blog, full of fun inspirations and insights on writing, self-publishing, and more!

Lezlie Moore

Always leave them wanting Moore

Miss Modernist

Written Word of the Modern Era

The Daily Coyote

Musings of a Maine lake dweller

The Ark of Identity

Laura M Kaminski's poetry practice and links


Just another site

Catherine Evans Latta

Poems for Everyone


Public relations issues and trends

Natural History Wanderings

Sandy Steinman's Blog

Mixed Waters

A look at the conditions and events surrounding estuaries, wetlands and coastal waters

Charles P. Martin-Shields

Comparative Politics | Development & Migration | Technology & Media