Thetis’ Heel

By Hester Knibbe Hester Knibbe

Translated By Jacquelyn Pope

Even gods, though they were born
in our own heads, died out to myth.

Just as no one can point to the source
of the spring or later at sea can say: this

is the water from deep in the earth, that
flowed from the mountaintops, so

is the stream of mortals and gods.

About my origins I know
nothing. I married the earth, a child

grew in me, fell
out of me at last, and I

babbled: little mutt of mine, I’ll
name you, dunk you in invulnerability.

He smiled at me, held me tightly
by the heel and said mama.

Source: Poetry (May 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2010


Hester Knibbe's books of poems include Oogsteen (2009) and Bedrieglijke dagen (2008), both from De Arbeiderspers. She received the A. Roland Holst prize in 2009.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism, Greek & Roman Mythology

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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