The Boldness of Lucy Anderton’s Sestina

While flipping through Fishouse, I found Lucy Anderton’s “Eve’s Sestina for Adam” and was immediately drawn to its sheer attitude. Here is the unapologetic voice of a woman who wants more and goes for it. Eve’s is a rare voice of female tenacity in a world where “He” (presumably God) “only could hear one side” (presumably that of Adam and all other men). I admire this Eve’s candor (“Clearly put, I was not born to be one / more pretty poppy in that garden”) and go-getter philosophy (“I wanted one / of your ribs. So I took it”). I also like the confessional tone of the poem, as if Eve is someone explaining herself in a police interrogation. Anderton as a poet is also pretty bold, as a sestina is a challenging form to master (and master she has, in this poem). I also thought it was a bold move on the poet’s part to use a homophone in the second stanza for one of her six end-words (“heirs” in place of “air”).

3 Replies to “The Boldness of Lucy Anderton’s Sestina”

  1. Hey Carrie,

    I loved this poem too. From personal experience, sestinas can be super tough, and one can run out of ideas pretty quickly! I agree, Anderson was very creative in using “heir” instead of “air.” I also enjoyed the following lines:

    “Felt my wild / heart crack with arias as my nails bit / into your side, sliding my fingers back / out, waving that slim wet bone through the air— –

    I love anatomy in poetry, and Anderson definitely delivered on this front. You can’t help but admire Eve, and I found myself wanting to emulate her confidence.

  2. I’m sitting here in France feeling great thanks to your careful attention to my little puddle of words! Thanks so much for noticing! — Lucy Anderton

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