Posted tagged ‘Demeter Denied’

Demeter Denied

March 28, 2015



Demeter Denied

All went awry, it seemed, with the pomegranate,
but the fault lay not in a fruit of blood-red grain
but in the fruit of woman’s womb, still knotted
after years.  Your son’s your son, she cried,

‘till he takes a wife, but your daughter–(she cried)–
should stay all her life.  And so the Goddess naughted
growth, cupping seeds on a palm of granite
furrowing soil against its grain,

as she sought the cleft of earth where her dear grain,
daughter, had strayed, where a burst of pomegranate,
some purpling explosion of spray, had cried
out to her and where her vines had knotted

with the deep. The clouds above the mother knotted
grey and the ground froze where she now cried
not–how could she leave me, the threshed grain
and no tree would dare a pomegranate–

Till the Gods themselves cried back and forth ‘enough’,
and the sun like a pomegranate rose red,
and the grain once more
knotted gold, all for at least
a little.


Here’s a drafty sort of poem for Bjorn Rudberg’s prompt on With Real Toads, to write a “quartina” or an abbreviated sestina.   (I’m not sure I’ve got the envoi exactly right–on the other hand, I think Bjorn invented this form, so I hope he’ll be indulgent.)

This one is based upon the myth of Demeter, the Goddess of the Harvest, and her daughter Persephone, who was stolen away by Hades.  In her mourning search for Persephone, Demeter let all crops die out–finally, Helios, the Sun God, revealed to where Persephone was, but by the time, she had eaten a few grains of pomegranate in the Underworld and was bound forever to return a few months of every year (during which time her mother mourns her absence again.)  (Pic of pomegranates is mine.  All rights reserved.)