Persephone’s Choice

Back in undergrad, when I was more deeply immersed in Greek literature, I came back regularly to mythology as inspiration for poetry. I’ve written at least three inspired by the Hades/Persephone myth, of which I’ve already shared one and may never share the last.

Even though it’s all about Persephone’s story, I remember this one being personal, but I don’t remember why. I know that in my final year of undergrad, I was doing a lot of introspection on who I had become and how my values differed from my parents’ values (not majorly, but enough to cause internal tension). I may also have been unconsciously anticipating moving back in with my parents after I graduated and how I really didn’t want to. I stayed there two years. My relationship with them got better after I finally moved out for real.

One final note: everyone shifts and changes in life, hopefully in good ways. It’s called growth. One of the growth areas that this poem highlights is that I no longer use double-spaces between sentences. I’m leaving them because cleaning them up is more effort than it’s worth it matches the poem’s point about change. (I’d also probably readjust it to fully sentence case, having some lines start with lowercase, but will leave it for the same reasons listed above. I have, however, made some other light edits.)

Persephone’s Choice

Originally written circa Fall 2003

Love is a choice. Location,
Sometimes, is not. This girl
Was carried off by thrashing winds
Of life, far from the way
She used to dream her life
Would go. At first nostalgia
Carried her in tides. She
Hated circumstance. But
Over time she learned
Adaptation to new
Scenarios and scenes.
Her memories of past
Lives forgotten, save
In whispered dreams. And soon
She began to love the things
Which carried her away, far
From her one-time home, so far
From sisters, father, brothers,
Mother. Now she knows,
In futures not so far away
From now, she will reach
Up and grasp the keys which will
Allow her to remain. No more
Does she desire to return
To ages past and innocence
Sans knowledge or emotion.
She lived a happy time, but
Joy needs grief and pain to shade.
She walks the path of sorrow
In freedom, and she learns
To dance in spite of tears,
For she will eat the fruit
And it is good.

Photo by Nathalie Jolie on Unsplash

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