18 March 2014
Samson's Wife: For a Short, Sweet While
For a short, sweet while
I thought you loved me.
You saw me - you wanted me.
We talked - you wanted me.
I thought you loved me.
Only true love
the barriers between us,
differences separating us,
your parents' disapproval,
our people's enmity -
for a short, sweet while.
Only a short, sweet while.
in these days
that should be celebration,
in this time that should mean joy,
here I am,
feeling hurt, unloved, pushed away,
less important to you
than games and riddles and secrets
and things you're hiding from me.
I don't think you love me at all.
Why did your feelings die so fast?
Why is it that
as soon as man has his woman
she is no longer interesting?
How can you not give me what I want?
How can you not show me the attention I need?
How can you not treat me like your wife?
How can you not love me as I thought you would,
for a short, sweet while?
Then Samson’s wife wept on him, and said, 'You only hate me! You do not love me! You have posed a riddle to the sons of my people, but you have not explained it to me.' (Judges 14:16a)
As this awesome Bible women book says: "Turbulent for its beginning, the relationship Samson has with his wife is clearly not built on any sense of mature, self-sacrificing love. Instead, Samson refuses to explain a riddle to his wife, who then whines and pouts to get her way."
Basically I put myself in her shoes a bit while writing this.
Now how I understand this poem is: on the one hand it shows her thoughts and feelings, which are thoughts and feelings we might have sometimes too. On the other hand, she is not really reacting maturely. She goes from one extreme (he loves me) to the other (he hates me, he's lost interest), over just one small issue. I know that I sometimes react really hysterically over little things. Sure, I wouldn't say Samson is in the right in this issue. But true love would react differently and not go straight over to accusations and self-pity.
I must say it does a lot of good to write a rant like this. ^^ To rant about someone else's problem as if you're in that situation, to let out some feelings and then question what you've written, and learn from it. If you read this poem in a very empathetic way just now, read it again critically! I wrote it as Mrs Samson, finding her feelings completely justified - but at the end of it I knew I had to read it again under the aspect of "why is this reaction not ideal".
Picture by Rembrandt.