(Prose Poem) Cassandra by Susan Hawthorne

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The prose poem, Cassandra, is a summary of a long-standing interest I have in the interaction between the structure of knowledge and belief systems. In the late 1970s I wanted to write a PhD on the structure of belief systems in the ancient world. In a way I am still working on this. At the time, no one in the academic milieu I inhabited understood what I wanted to do, so I left and wrote my novel, The Falling Woman.


We talk of Cassandra. Belief is as important as knowledge. For what is knowledge if no one believes it?  There have been many times when destruction could have been avoided, when the future was glaring at people. That was the fate of Cassandra, though her ears had been licked by a serpent, no one would believe her prophecies.

They laughed at her story of the wooden horse – and the city fell. They laughed even as they died.

There have been many Cassandras. Many of us.

[The above is from The Falling Woman,  Spinifex Press (1992; 2004, pp. 83-4).]

Meet Mago Contributor, Susan Hawthorne.