4: Biblical excerpt, Genesis 3:6-7.
This is the biblical passage in which Eve eats the forbidden fruit and shares it with Adam. The reference to this scene in Dropkin’s poem “Adam” is overt, and therefore makes for a good introduction to the concept of intertextuality in poetry: considering how and why a poem might reference traditional or canonical sources.
Suggested Activity: As a class or in pairs, read the passage from Genesis describing Eve’s bite. Then read the translation of Dropkin’s poem presented in resource 1. Ask students: what resonates between the poem and the passage from Genesis? What images, words, and relationships do the two texts have in common? What is different about the narratives they provide? What intrigues you about the comparison of the two texts? What confuses you? Why might Dropkin have alluded to this well-known biblical scene in her poem? Ask the students how the allusion adds to the poem: what if the named character in the poem was “Bob” instead of “Adam”?
Source: Genesis 3:6-7. Source sheet compiled using Sefaria, 2018. https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/150371.2?lang=bi&with=About&lang2=en