Study Guide

Demeter's Prayer to Hades Tough-o-Meter

By Rita Dove

Tough-o-Meter

(2) Sea Level

The wordplay might not be too tricky, and there aren't any complicated rhythm or rhyme schemes, but that doesn't mean the poem is a total breeze. Dove's allusions to classical Greek mythology will have you looking up a name or two, and there's even a symbol here and there. But there's no need to call upon the gods. Once you master the story, the poem unveils its meaning without need for divine intervention.

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