Poem: Yael, Imagined
November 10, 2022
Poetry Editor Alicia Ostriker comments:
I am fascinated by what Leila Bilick has done by playing with the story of Yael and Sisera in Judges 4 and 5. She is not the first commentator to speculate that Jael has sex with the Canaanite general before killing him by driving a tent peg through his head. But the fragmentary, slippery form and language here suggests a woman who is sexually voracious as well as violent, in a gender-switching implication that makes the “glint” and “victory” both Sisera’s delusion and Yael’s satisfaction.