EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY: PRAYER TO PERSEPHONE
Be to her, Persephone,
All the things I might not be;
Take her head upon your knee.
She that was so proud and wild,
Flippant, arrogant and free,
She that had no need of me,
Is a little lonely child
Lost in Hell, – Persephone,
Take her head upon your knee;
Say to her, „My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here.“
CECILIA WOLOCH: HADES
Where we go when he closes my eyes
and under what country:
some blue darkness, farther than hell;
a landscape of absence and root and stone.
There are no bodies here,
we dream shapeless dreams –
a constant, cloudless storm.
Mother, I’ll never wake up from him,
I have already traveled too far.
My mouth is the color of his mouth
and his arms are no longer his arms;
they’re mute as smoke, as my first white dress,
and the spear of his name, once ferocious,
dissolves on my tongue
like sugar, like birdsong, I whisper it:
NIKITA GILL: CONVERSATIONS WITH PERSEPHONE
I asked Persephone,
„How could you grow to love him?
He took you from flowers to a kingdom
where not a single living thing can grow.“
„My darling, every flower on your earth withers.
What Hades gave me was a crown
made for the immortal flowers in my bones.“
LOUISE GLÜCK: A MYTH OF DEVOTION
When Hades decided he loved this girl
he built for her a duplicate of earth,
everything the same, down to the meadow,
but with a bed added.
Everything the same, including sunlight,
because it would be hard on a young girl
to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness
Gradually, he thought, he’d introduce the night,
first as the shadows of fluttering leaves.
Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars.
Let Persephone get used to it slowly.
In the end, he thought, she’d find it comforting.
A replica of earth
except there was love here.
Doesn’t everyone want love?
He waited many years,
building a world, watching
Persephone in the meadow.
Persephone, a smeller, a taster.
If you have one appetite, he thought,
you have them all.
Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night
the beloved body, compass, polestar,
to hear the quiet breathing that says
I am alive, that means also
you are alive, because you hear me,
you are here with me. And when one turns,
the other turns.
That’s what he felt, the lord of darkness,
looking at the world he had
constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind
that there’d be no more smelling here,
certainly no more eating.
Guilt? Terror? The fear of love?
These things he couldn’t imagine;
no lover ever imagines them.
He dreams, he wonders what to call this place.
First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden.
In the end, he decides to name it
A soft light rising above the level meadow,
behind the bed. He takes her in his arms.
He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you
but he thinks
this is a lie, so he says in the end
you’re dead, nothing can hurt you
which seems to him
a more promising beginning, more true.
JO WALTON: HADES AND PERSEPHONE
You bring the light clasped round you, and although
I knew you’d bring it, knew it as I waited,
Knew as you’d come that you’d come cloaked in light
I had forgotten what light meant, and so
This longed for moment, so anticipated,
I stand still, dazzled by my own delight.
I see you, and you see me, and we smile
And your smile says you are as pleased as me
With everything and nothing still to say
All that we’ve saved and thought through all this time
Boils down to affirmation now as we
Stand here enlightened in my realm of grey.
Cerberus wags his solitary tail,
And though the dust of Hell lies round our feet
Your flowers are already sprouting through.
“You came,” “I said I would,” “You didn’t fail,”
“And you’re still here,” “Of course. We said we’d meet.”
“Yes,” “Yes!” “You’re really here! “And so are you!”
We don’t say yet that you will have to go
And Hell return inevitably black
Your flowers fade when parted from your tread
Though this is something we both surely know,
As certain as you come, you must go back,
And I remain alone among the dead.
They say I snatched you from the world above
Bound you with pomegranates, cast a spell
Bribed you with architecture. It’s not so.
Friendship is complicated, life is, love,
Your work the growing world, my task is Hell
You come back always, always have to go.
But here and now, this moment, we can smile,
Speak and be heard, this moment we can share
And laugh, and help each other to be great,
And talk aloud together, all worthwhile,
Our work, our worlds, and all we really care,
Each word shines golden, each thought worth the wait.
And Hell’s poor souls whirl round us as they glide
Off up to Lethe to begin again,
On to new lives, new dawns beyond Hell’s night.
We walk among your flowers, side by side,
Such joys we share are worth a little pain.
You come back. And you always bring the light.
RITA DOVE: PERSEPHONE, FALLING
One narcissus among the ordinary beautiful
flowers, one unlike all the others! She pulled,
stooped to pull harder—
when, sprung out of the earth
on his glittering terrible
carriage, he claimed his due.
It is finished. No one heard her.
No one! She had strayed from the herd.
(Remember: go straight to school.
This is important, stop fooling around!
Don’t answer to strangers. Stick
with your playmates. Keep your eyes down.)
This is how easily the pit
opens. This is how one foot sinks into the ground.
Izvor poezije: Pinterest, Poetry Foundation
Slika: Mermerna sklptura Kore (devojke), 6. vek pre nove ere, Atina.