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Potbelly by Zoë Comyns (Old Testament, New Tales, Drama on One, Sunday 20th January 2013)
In the fifth enchanting stanza of ‘Among School Children’, W.B. Yeats considers the pain of labour and the life-long laboriousness of all our pains.
What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap
Honey of generation had betrayed,
And that must sleep, shriek, struggle to escape
As recollection or the drug decide,
Would think her son, did she but see that shape
With sixty or more winters on its head,
A compensation for the pang of his birth,
Or the uncertainty of his setting forth?
Potbelly Zoë Comyns’ lyrical critique of the providential conception of the prophet Jeremiah, pauses pregnantly at one of the great images in the Hebrew Bible, and revisits the Yeatsian question in the second of our half-hour series from scripture.
With Enda Oates as the fragile foetus in utero and Dawn Bradfield as a maculate mother.