Writings and Witterings



A rewrite of my ekphrastic poem inspired by the beautiful John William Waterhouse pre-raphaelite painting My Sweet Rose with thanks to friends who have commented.

My Sweet Rose (or The Soul of the Rose)John William Waterhouse

My Sweet Rose (or The Soul of the Rose)
John William Waterhouse


Radiant beauty,
Goddess of the dead,
Scent of the rose
Against your
Sweet head;
Fertile maid of life and death.
Feel the horror queen’s light breath.

She meandered in meadows of
Fragrant flowers,
Roses, violets, hyacinths in bowers.
Seized, snatched,
Carried off,
Stolen by Hades
In a golden four-horsed chariot,
As Demeter wept.

Odysseus at the House of Death
Sees a wraith
To make one ache
For those who have been.
Persephone now the
Curse of dead souls,
Men distrust her
Six months here, six months there.

It is said:
“This is no deception sent by Queen Persephone,
This is the way of mortals when we die”

So wait!
A kindness yet,
To let
The souls return.
Springtime Goddess of Rebirth,
Mystery initiations,
Sudden depressions,
Give way

To the
A better life
A different fate after death.
Repeat to the beginning,
Seeds of the
Fruits of the
All shall return.

She is the
Painted winecup,
She is:
Life and death,
Wife, daughter,
Innocence, wisdom,
Death and rebirth.

And she stole the beautiful Adonis!
Oh yes!  A psychopomp …
With pomegranate seeds

And blessings,
For wisdom and tranquillity.

Death is not
‘Tis a cycle for

Polly Robinson © 2013


12 thoughts on “Persephone

  1. Very beautifully wrapped up Polly – it is a Cycle for Good.

    Peace, Eric


  2. Beautifully done, Polly. I like that you chose Persephone to write about. Have always been rather liked her.


  3. Her story has always grabbed my imagination – wonderful poem! K


  4. oh i need to read a bit more about her…love how you give us a taste of her with your words here


  5. Polly, this is pure silken luxury, this ekphrastic. So many who attempt the form get more hung up on what is in the picture, but you go far beyond… the legend, the woman. The last lines are BRILL. Sorry I’ve not been by lately, and thanks for commenting at my blog. You outdid yourself with this one. Brava! Amy


  6. Fabulous! I have that picture on my sitting room wall!


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