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Inib-Sarri and Eristi-Aya

Inib-Sarri was a daughter of the Akkadian king, Zimri-Lim, and lived around 1790-1745 B.C.E.  Akkad was the northern region of ancient Mesopotamia and was populated by Semitic peoples. Sumer was directly south of Akkad. A poem by Inib-Sarri addresses her father.  

"A Letter to Her Father"

Twice I have written you that I am unhappy,
my lord,
and you wrote back:
"Go and enter the city of Aslakka."

Now I have gone into Aslakka
and I am very unhappy.

For Ibal-Addu's wife is queen there!
That woman takes in gifts almost every day
from a multitude of cities,
including Aslakka,
but she forces me to sit in a corner
like a female idiot,
digging my fingers into my cheek

Eristi-Aya was also the daughter of Zimri-Lim, but she seems to have been placed in a cloister by her parents, as most of her writing addresses that topic. 

"A Letter to Her Mother"

I am a king's daughter, you a king's wife.
I am furious!
Those tablets you and your husband used
to order me into this cloister,
Let's forget them.
But remember this:
even warriors seized as booty in war
are treated humanely.
At least, treat me like them!


Map from http://i-cias.com/e.o/index.htm


Both poems above come from A Book of Women Poets, edited by Aliki Barnstone and Willis Barnstone, which was published by Schocken Books, out of New York, in 1980.

Background Image from http://www.wisarts.com/free/free1.html

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This page was last updated on 10 June 2009 . Copyright Kimberly M. Radek, 2001.