These three tablets include the entire poem. The extract below begins with Enheduanna’s plea to Inanna, which details how Lugalanne desecrated the temple of An, the sky god, and forced Enheduanna out of her office, vividly alluding to sexual harassment for the first time in literature. In the end, Inanna accepts her plea, and Enheduanna is reinstated. Enheduanna then adds a remarkable line about her creative process, stating that she has “given birth” to this poem.
Sidney Babcock: These three tablets include the entire poem. The extract you will hear begins with Enheduanna’s plea to Inanna, which details how Lugalanne desecrated the temple of An, the sky god, and forced Enheduanna out of her office by taking away her distinguishing headdress and by encouraging her to commit suicide. She vividly alludes to sexual harassment for the first time in world literature:
“I am Enheduanna, let me speak to you my prayer,
My tears flowing like some sweet intoxicant:
“O Holy Inanna, may I let you have your way?
I would have you judge the case.”
Sidney Babcock: Indictment of Lugalanne
“That man has defiled the rites decreed by holy heaven,
He has robbed An of his very temple!
He honors not the greatest god of all,
The abode that An himself could not exhaust its charms, its beauty infinite,
He has turned that temple into a house of ill repute,
Forcing his way in as if he were an equal, he dared approach me in his lust!”
[ . . . ]
“When Lugalanne stood paramount, he expelled me from the temple,
He made me fly out the window like a swallow, I had had my taste of life,
He made me walk a land of thorns.
He took away the noble diadem of my holy office,
He gave me a dagger: ‘This is just right for you,’ he said.”