Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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.

Credit


"Persephone, Falling", from Mother Love by Rita Dove. Copyright © 1995 by Rita Dove. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Author


Rita Dove

The author of numerous collections of poetry, Rita Dove served as the US Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995 and as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2005 to 2011.

Date Published: 1980-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/persephone-falling