Women at the Well

Women at the Well by Olivia Diamond


Women at the Well

Olivia Diamond

In first person, sixty-one Old and New Testament women retell Biblical stories from their unique perspectives. In the pivotal poem of the collection, the Samaritan woman recalls her meeting with Jesus at the well years later as an old woman. Like her, all the women in these dramatic monologues yearn for that water which will become a wellspring from which eternal life will flow.

Water, a typically feminine symbol, binds all these disparate voices, some strident and defiant, others humorous. The poems are arranged chronologically from Eve to Damaris. Crying defiance against the patriarchs, Jezebel asserts: “Elijah I’m told ascended in a cloud into heaven/So will I before they throw me to the accursed dogs/he prophesied for me years ago.”

In a lighter vein, Mary of Bethany declares herself “the housewife’s patron saint/not my sister Martha dusting and polishing./All you everyday housewives who would be holy/throw away your brooms, brushes, and rag mops./What profit a clean house when you lose your soul?”

This collection of persona poems provides a refreshing and sometimes shocking counterpoint to the mostly male point of view the Bible affords. Women at the Well readers will hear Biblical women speak tougher and wittier words than Scripture allows. This edition revises and greatly expands the original collection of Women at the Well of 1989 and the second edition of 2001.

Ebook $8.00 | Paperback $8.00