Sunday, March 20, 2016

Anthropomorphising Spring

1. Last October I sent in my entry for the National Poetry Competition. Although they have not yet announced the winners I have been contacted to tell me that I have not been successful. Apparently there were nearly 13,000 entries so even someone as egotistical as I must admit that there were probably a couple of hundred worth comparing to mine.

2. Since it is out of the competition I can now publish it elsewhere without it being eliminated. This seems to be an appropriate day:

Persephone’s Dance

The Greeks used to call her Persephone
Personification of the season
She’s had six months in hell (there are reasons)
Now celebrating her liberty

Remembering on this cross quarter day
Promises of summer and winter that’s passed
Is it festival or is it a fast
Somebody else will be leading the way

Gathered in a field we start to sing
Air and land no longer silent and still
Maybe she won’t and maybe she will
Join us to dance on the first day of spring 

3. Since I wrote the poem last spring (for May Day in fact), sent it in October, and deliberately ignored it since then, I had actually forgotten what I entered. I had thought that I hadn't actually written any poetry since then, but it turns out that's not right. I wrote the lyrics for a (fictional) song called Robot Lover for another piece, and also...

Well, this poem was for a creative writing class. Later in the term we were given the task of taking something serious we'd written for the class and making it funny. As some of the other students thought that this was a tender and beautiful poem* I went out of my way to spoil it with this comic version:

Dance, Persephone, Dance!

A Goddess arrives at our May Day fair;
The Greeks used to call her Persephone.
Celebrating her seasonal liberty
(She really has the most beautiful hair).

Maiden’s white dress decorated with beads
Promises of Summer, Winter has passed.
Is it a festival or is it a fast?
Turn down the salad with pomegranate seeds.

Her skin’s so pale I’m a bit concerned
She’s had six months in hell (there are reasons)
Personification of the season;
Without Factor 50 she’ll get totally burned

Out at last from the underworld hole
Remembering on this cross quarter day
She follows us as we lead the way
Frowning at the symbolism of the Maypole.

Maybe she won’t and maybe she will
Join us as we celebrate spring.
We gather together to dance and to sing,
She’s lying in the grass looking pretty chill.
4. These together mirror two views of the Greek Gods. The first has them as primal powers, existing in the hearts and minds of people and the new life of the season. The second as powerful, but human-like, the personification of spring hanging out at a May Day festival like a slightly bored teen, or maybe a disapproving young woman.

*Air and land no longer silent and still was admired which is amusing as it was entirely there for the line that follows.

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