This poem consists of quotes from Mark Twain's Diaries of Adam and Eve - rearranged and modified.


MARTINA MARIA KERNDL

Adam and Eve

This new creature with the long hair
is a good deal in the way.
It is always hanging around, following me,
which I, not used to company, don't like.

I followed the other experiment around yesterday,
to see what it might be good for.
But I was not able to make it out.
I think it is a man.

I was afraid of it, at first,
for I thought it was going to chase me;
but then I realized it was trying to get away
and so I tracked it.

The new creature does name everything that comes along,
before I can get in a protest.
And always that same pretext is offered,
saying the moment one looks at it, one sees at a glance
that it "looks like a dodo", for instance.

One of the clods I threw - protecting the pool fishes -
tock it back of the ear and it used language.
When I found it could talk it got my full attention
for I love to talk and, if desired, would never stop.
It makes me twice as interesting.

So, when the dodo came along
and it thought it was a wildcat - I saw it in it's eyes -
I saved it with my conversational strength -
and I was careful not to do it in a way
that could hurt it's pride:

I just spoke up in a quite natural way of surpise,
and not as if I was dreaming of conveying information,
"Well, I do declare, if there isn't the dodo!" I explained
- without seeming to be explaining.

I thought GARDEN EDEN was a very good name for the estate -
but it says it is all woods and rocks and scenery
and therefore cannot be
anything but Niagara Falls park.

Consequently, without consulting me
it has been renamed it and I
won't call it what I used to say
- at least not publicly.

I've got it up the tree again;
It would tire me to rest so much.
It even tires me just to sit here, watching it doing that.
I never see it doing anything.

Built me a shelter against the rain,
but could not have it to myself in peace.
The new creature intruded, talking as always,
while it used to be so pleasant and quiet here.

Noble and beatiful works of art
should not be subjected to haste;
and this majestic new world is indeed
a most noble and marvelous piece
- although there are too many stars in some places
and elsewhere not enough.

Cloudy today, think we shall have rain.
Wait, where did I get that word from
- we?
Well, the new creature
uses it all the time.

Moons are so pretty and so romantic.
I wish we had five or six;
I would never go to bed and never get tired
of lying on the moss-bank, looking up.

The new creature goes out in all weathers,
stumping right in with its muddy feet.
And this morning I found it trying to clod apples
- out of that one forbidden tree.

Stars are good, too. I wish I could get some
to put them into my hair.
But I suppose this will never happen,
you would be suprised how far off they are.

When they first showed I tried
to knock some down with a pole,
bit it didn't reach, which astonished me -
so I tried clods, but I am afraid
I simply cannot throw.

I must have tried it fifty times,
just barely missing them,
and if I could have held out just a little longer
maybe I could have gotten one.
So I cried a little, which I personally
consider to be something natural.

It says it is a She
and that its name is Eve.
Says it to call it by,
when I want it to come.
I said it was superfluous, then.

She wants me not to go over the Falls anymore.
Says it makes her shudder.
I wonder why, I have always done that -
supposing it was what the Falls were made for.

But she says they were only made for scenery
- like the mastodon and the rhinoceros.
I decided it is best not to ask her more,
she has such a rage to explain.

Hasn't he any heart?
A loving good heart is riches.
But without a doubt, I can make that seed grow.
I would feel it if I would be completely unwelcome.

I escaped last Tuesday night
and hided as well as I could,
but she hunted me out by means of a beast
she has tamed and calls a wolf.
I was obliged to return with her,
but once occasion will offer, I will emigrate again.

She engages herself in many foolish things,
like why lions and tigers live on flowers and grass,
when, as she says, the sort of teeth they wear indicates
that they were intended to eat each other.

That's foolish, because this would introduce
what, as I understand, is called "death";
and I have been told, death has not taken place yet -
Which is a pitty, on some accounts.

I found some tigers and nestled in among them,
and, not only due to their breath of strawberries,
felt most adorably comfortable.
Good God, their skins would make a lovely gown.

Monday
She has been climbing that tree again.
Cloded her out of it.
She said nobody was looking.
Seems to consider that a sufficient justification
for changing any dangerous thing.
Told her that.
The word justification moved her admiration -
and envy, too, I think.

Tuesday
She is in much trouble about the buzzard;
says grass does not agree with it;
The buzzard must get along the best with what is given,
we cannot overturn the whole scheme for him.

Friday
She fell in the pond again when
looking at herself in it, which she is always doing.
She nearly strangled, said
it was most uncomfortable.

Sunday
Pulled through.

The first time that she forsook me!,
that lovely white body painted there in the pool -
I sprang into her arms, hungering for companionship,
many and many are the visits I have paid her;
she is my comfort and my refuge when life is hard
- and it is mainly that.

When the mighty brontosaurus
came striding into camp,
I considered it a calamity
and she an acquisition;
which proves best the lack of harmony
that prevails in our view of things:

She wanted to domesticate it
and I wanted to make it a present
of the homestead
and move out.

I said a pet twenty-one feet high
and eighty-four feet long
would be no proper thing to have
about the place, because,
even with the best intentions
and without meaning any harm,
it could sit down on the house and mash it
- for any one could see by its look
how absent-minded it was.

Still, her heart was set upon
having that monster, she wouldn't give up.
She thought we could start a diary and
wanted me to help milking it;
but I considered that too risky,
besides the sex wasn't right.

Untested theories are not in her line;
she simply will not have them.
It is the right spirit, I conceide it;
it attracts me and if I were with her more
I should take it up myself.

She had one theory remaining
about this colossus:
she thought that if we would be able to tame it
and make it friendly we could
stand in the river, using him for a bridge.

He was already plenty tame,
so she tried, but failed, because
every time she placed him properly
and went ashore to cross
the pet mountain was following her -
as each animal here does.

What a nice snake!
What an apple!

Where has she found that?
Cain and Abel?

...

...

Forty years later, at Eve's grave

She was all interest, vivacity and eagerness,
she saw the best of our world, that is:
Each flower, each of all God's creatures were
a wonder, a joy, a mystery to her.
Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.