Study Guide

Demeter's Prayer to Hades Calling Card

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Calling Card

Greek Myths, Human Truths

The poem might seem to be an angry note between mythological gods, but that doesn't mean the sentiments inside it don't apply to the rest of us. Rita Dove uses these myths to get as some universal truths, like the repercussions for acting selfishly, or the loss of a child. In fact, she has a whole book of them called Mother Love (and you can check out another poem about the whole Demeter-Hades-Persephone debacle called "Persephone, Falling"). Whatever the subject of the poem, you can bet that Dove has something to say about the human condition within it.

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