Persephone in Winter

Persephone in Winter

Original Text

Persephone in Winter (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1937): 29.

2Lay still, nor gave a thought
3To the fierce surging tides of flowers
4Her restless youth had brought.
5Trapped beyond touch of pain or sorrow,
6Gaoled in high walls of aquamarine,
7Her blue eyes veiled from any morrow,
12Her bare arms blossom-laden;
13With frightened eyes, the seekers crept
14To nibbled grass again,
15Telling of how the Ivory slept,
16Too still, too chill for men.
17Only the snake, whose thought strikes cold
18From ancient jewelled eyes,
19In rings of mottled green and gold
20Slips round her girdle-wise.
21Only the stealthy lute-string sound
22Of hesitant waters underground,
23Only the ice-blue water-drips
24Are secret as her lips.


1] Persephone: a goddess in ancient Greek tradition, daughter of the grain goddess Demeter and sky god Zeus, who was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld. She was rescued by Demeter, but because of having married Hades and eaten food of the underworld shecould only spend six months of the year aboveground. Back to Line
8] Pluto's queen: Persephone. Pluto is the Roman term for the god Hades. Back to Line
9] conies: rabbits. Back to Line
10] jonquil: a widely cultivated Narcissus flower, with clusters of small fragrant yellow flowers. Back to Line
11] hillocked: surrounded by small hills or mounds. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
RPO poem Editors
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition