In “Prometheus as Girl”, award-winning poet Kai-Lilly Karpman takes the violence and misogyny of the patriarchy to task. Her powerful and important poem casts the mythological role of Prometheus as a woman, and it brims with righteous anger at the violence burdened on women by the patriarchy throughout history, up until the final searing line. “”Prometheus as Girl” asks, ” what would the Gods give us women, if they gave men fire?” Kai-Lilly explained to The Dewdrop. She continued, “Under patriarchy, men can sometimes feel like the Gods of this world, and their gifts are dangerous.”
Prometheus as Girl
He names my problem obsession
and says I’ll have no more of it! When I was young,
I only wanted the world of the wild dog: godless,
meated, and filthy. Instead,
this doctor tries to pill and plain me.
But, I have what you men asked me for.
I made you my Huge Gods!
I memorized your every word!
I named each firstborn after you!
I wept a storm, begging you all to appear.
Then, bless you, you were always everywhere!
Men the trees, men the road, men the books, men the cat,
men the mouth, men the bones, men the table, men the feast.
I plucked my eyes out and lashed myself to death.
The Huge Gods loved me so much that they gave me fire,
and washed me in it.
Kai -Lilly Karpman
Kai-Lilly Karpman is the recipient of Columbia’s University Teaching Fellowship, the Word for Word: Collaborative Translation Grant recipient, Barbara Sicherman Prize in Women, Gender, and Sexuality (2020) recipient, two-time winner of John Curtis Memorial Prize in Poetry (2020, 2018) and the Connecticut Poetry Circuit Winner (2020). She has been previously published in Beyond Words Magazine, Plume Magazine, Wingless Dreamer magazine, Some Kind of Opening, and others.