Perhaps my favourite poem by Roger White, poet laureate of the Baha’i community:
I tire, Eve, of innocence,
Let’s kiss and grow contented.
Suppose we touched, where I protrude
And you’re cunningly indented?
Oh Adam, what a sweet pastime!
I’m glad that I consented.
Tell me, dear, what shall we call
This game that we’ve invented?
With half my heart I’d call it love
And not have it repented;
The other half would name it sin
And urge it be prevented.
Had I not led you to the fruit
Guilt would be circumvented.
My punishment’s to have my crime
Spake the snake:
All Adam’s sons are cursed to woo
A maid and gently take her;
But after they’ve made applesauce
They’ll like as not forsake her.
And down the centuries men proclaim:
We’ll take the pleasure, she the blame.
Let posterity lament
That mother Eve gave her assent;
In slithering wisdom I rejoice
That she gave birth to slippery choice.
Adam & Eve by Titian (Prado Museum)
Roger White believed committed artists would be a vital force in preventing inflexibility in the Bah??’? community. “They will,” he predicted, addressing a group of Bah??’? youth in Haifa in 1990, “be a source of rejuvenation. They will serve as a bulwark against fundamentalism, stagnation and administrative sterility…To the degree the Bah??’? community views its artists as a gift rather than a problem will it witness the spread of the faith ‘like wildfire’ as promised by Shoghi Effendi, through their talents being harnessed to the dissemination of the spirit of the Cause.” To this end, White encouraged hundreds of budding writers and artists around the world, and called upon Bah??’? communities to assist the artists to find their place.