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Persephone, Falling

Persephone, Falling

by Rita Dove

Persephone, Falling Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

"Persephone, Falling" is a sneaky sonnet. We know it's a sonnet because it is fourteen lines long and has a clear turn after the eighth line, just where we would expect it in an Italian sonnet. But...

Speaker

The speaker of a poem (or any work of literature) is always tricky. Obviously, the speaker of the poem is always technically the poet. We mean, they wrote the thing. But this poem gives us some oth...

Setting

There are two settings at work in "Persephone, Falling." The first setting is the allusion itself—Persephone's fall into Hades. We discuss that over in the "Shout-Outs" section.The other setting,...

Sound Check

Even though this is a sonnet, it doesn't have a formal rhyme scheme. To make up for this lack of formality, Rita Dove weaves in some sneaky sound effects to make her poem sing. Let's get a quick li...

What's Up With the Title?

With a short poem like this one, it's not likely that the poet would waste words in a title. Rita Dove makes sure to tell us an awful lot about her poem before it even starts. Here's a quick rundow...

Calling Card

There are a few things that make this poem so Rita Dove. The main thing is the content. Much of her work focuses on individuals in relationship to their families. She looks closely at growing up an...

Tough-o-Meter

Yeah, sure, you need to go look up the myth to really understand it, but the vocabulary is simple and the sentences aren't complex. It takes a little bit of a turn after the first stanza, but proba...

Trivia

In the second and third Matrix movies, Persephone is the name of a character seated in a place called Club Hel. Sound familiar? (Source.)There is a death metal band called Persefone, and a German d...

Steaminess Rating

There's nothing really explicit here, but there are some second meanings to some of the lines. Either way, let's face it: the poem's about Hades having his way with a teenage goddess. Any poem abou...

Allusions

The main allusion, which begins in the title, is the story of Persephone's abduction by Hades. In Ovid's version of Persephone's capture, she is pictured as picking flowers in a far more innocent w...

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