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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

Poem of the Week: “Rib” by Catriona Clutterbuck

"Rib" by Catriona Clutterbuck, from THE MAGPIE AND THE CHILD

In her own interpretation of God’s creation of Eve from Adam, Catriona Clutterbuck highlights the contrast between deprivation and abundance. While the removal of Adam’s rib leaves him empty and lonely, the rib allows Eve to overflow into the world around her.


When God took a rib out of man
and made it up into woman,
he left the cage of man’s heart unfinished,
missing one bar, undone.

Though he closed the place over with flesh,
inside there is still a gap,
a breach in his perfect enclosure,
a loneliness after her flight.

Eve was made of one rib,
one long curved half-circle of bone;
inside in her upright flesh,
not sin but original shape,

of cup, boat, letter, hut, mouth,
moon sliver—deliberate half-closures;
she collected up space in her curve,
threw earth from her wide open side.

Catriona Clutterbuck, from The Magpie and the Child (2021)

Categories: Catriona Clutterbuck, New Releases, Poem of the WeekTags: , ,

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