“Spring will return, a dream / based on a falsehood: / that the dead return.” : Persephone the Wanderer

In the first version, Persephone
is taken from her mother
and the goddess of the earth
punishes the earth–this is
consistent with what we know of human behaviour


Persephone’s initial
sojourn in hell continues to be
pawed over by scholars who dispute
the sensations of the virgin:

did she cooperate in her rape,
or was she drugged, violated against her will,
as happens so often to modern girls.


They say
there is a rift in the human soul
which is not constructed to belong
entirely to life.  Earth

asks us to deny this rift,  a threat
disguised as suggestion–
as we have seen in the tale of Persephone
which should be read

as an argument between the mother and the lover–
the daughter is just meat.


In the second version, Persephone
is dead.  She dies, her mother grieves–
problems of her sexuality need not
trouble us here.


We begin to see here
the deep violence of the earth

whose hostility suggests she has no wish to continue as a source of life.

And why is this hypothesis
never discussed?  Because it is not in the story; it only
creates the story.

You will be spoken for and interpreted without respect, and death is a lie.


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