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I am obsesssed with the Greek Goddess Persephone. I first read a version of the myth when I was about five years old. Over the decades, she keeps dropping by for cups of tea,  reflecting different symbolic offerings, insights and questions to me; reflecting back my own shifts, my own deepenings. I’m obsessed with all things to do with her myth. Pomegranates. The concept of the Underworld and its symbolic meanings. Dark, melancholic, mysterious men like Hades. The question of the true nature of her abduction. What it felt like for her. And how her time in the Underworld … changed her. The transformation from virgin, Goddess of Spring to wife and Queen of the Underworld.

For where there is transformation, there is always a story.

And then there’s my erotic novella-in-progress about Persephone. i have stalled horribly, but the ideas keep at me. So even though I am not writing the novella, I am still in dialogue with the idea; exploring her through poetry, and other snippets of writing.

My last name “Kore” is another Greek name for Persephone. I resonate with the idea that writing about sex and sexuality is akin to going down into the Underworld of our bodies, and of society; sometimes speaking the taboo; sometimes bringing things up and out into the light so they can be seen more clearly. So for me, Persephone rises up from my subconscious and bursts out onto the bright white page, spilling over with insights and stories, over and over again. She is the one who learns from her time in darkness, and emerges into her light cycle the wiser for it. She is the one who brings her light back down into the hungering darkness.

Here are a few of my “conversations” with Persephone via poetry. Some phrases and images are more insistent, re-asserting themselves in different places. I share them to show how themes and ideas can shift, evolve and keep showing up in different guises.

Persephone as Maiden

Persephone as Maiden


She pries the pomegranate apart
full of fertile questions
and sucks each seed for its secret
Drowning in the viscous sweetness,
Scarlet juices spill waxen over lips
Sealing the contract of her subterranean affair

` © Adrea Kore 2005
(Not to be reproduced or reprinted,
 in part or in whole, without permission of the author)


Made in Darkness

Her affinity with sunlight
does not offer her protection
nor does the dandelion pollen
on her chin mark her as exempt
from a deep call beneath
Her lightly traced footprints on the hillside.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti _ Persephone
 Excerpt- © Adrea Kore 2013)
(Not to be reproduced or reprinted,
 in part or in whole, without permission of the author)


Yes, he took me by surprise.

(To be taken. To be overpowered.)

His ebony chariot.
Erupting out of the earth.
A strange subterranean bloom that could bear the dark no longer.
I am flung to the floor.
A shudder , then,
the earth gives way .
down we sink, down,
obscuring all trace of sky.

(To be taken. To be spirited away)

The dark and light of Persephone

The dark and light of Persephone

I glare at this man, silhouetted in torchlight.
I hear him sigh.
“Persephone …”

His voice is of dark, dank stone. His voice is not of the light.
I shiver. But the skin on my cheeks is warm.

(To be taken. To submit to force.)

The myths say I was abducted.
But that is not the whole story.
Abduction … or seduction?
Perhaps it was both.

(Danger beckons, and sometimes we follow.)

This is my story now.
Yes …
I confess
I pried the pomegranate apart.
Sucked each seed for its secret.
Sealing the contract
of my subterranean affair.
If you would listen
How he fed them to me,
You too, would not have resisted.

(To be taken. To succumb. )

“Take me again, my Lord.”

Abduction … or seduction?

(Danger beckons.)

© Adrea Kore 2013
(Not to be reproduced or reprinted,
 in part or in whole, without permission of the author)

Take pen in hand quill pen writing

Your turn. Try these prompts. (This heading is now a tag, and will be anywhere that I add in prompts for you to get writing. Click on this tag, to find any post with prompts in it.)

Soul-Themes –What might be your soul themes? These are often powerful places to write from creatively.

  • What stories, fairytales, myths, or archetypes shadow the steps of your life, show up in your dreams?
  • What story fascinated you as a child?
  • When you go to a fancy-dress party, who have you dressed up as?
  •  Try approaching obliquely from the story or the character you know; look at her in a mirror and describe what you see, or write a dialogue between the character and you at any point in your life; three different points in your life.
  • Turn the story upside down or shake it up a little. Re-write the story setting it in contemporary times. Or the future. Make the main character younger or older than in the original. Write it from the perspective of a minor character.
  • You can try any of these ideas in prose form, of course. But as we are talking about poetry, try it in that form now.

Poetry Tip: Once you’ve written your poem, scan it again for unneccessary words; such as “and” “the” “a” . Read it out loud to help you find these hanger-ons, and eliminate. The spaces between words in poetry are part of its beauty power. Create more of them. Next, identify a few lazy words (like I just did in the sentence before) Can your imagination reach for something more … you? Unique. Precise. Startling.