Persephone the Wanderer

13 ottobre 2020 ore 20:40 segnala

In the first version, Persephone
is taken from her mother
and the goddess of the earth
punishes the earth—this is
consistent with what we know of human behavior,

that human beings take profound satisfaction
in doing harm, particularly
unconscious harm:

we may call this
negative creation.

Persephone's initial
sojourn in hell continues to be
pawed over by scholars who dispute
the sensations of the virgin:

did she cooperate in her rape,
or was she drugged, violated against her will,
as happens so often now to modern girls.

As is well known, the return of the beloved
does not correct
the loss of the beloved: Persephone

returns home
stained with red juice like
a character in Hawthorne—

I am not certain I will
keep this word: is earth
"home" to Persephone? Is she at home, conceivably,
in the bed of the god? Is she
at home nowhere? Is she
a born wanderer, in other words
an existential
replica of her own mother, less
hamstrung by ideas of causality?

You are allowed to like
no one, you know. The characters
are not people.
They are aspects of a dilemma or conflict.

Three parts: just as the soul is divided,
ego, superego, id. Likewise

the three levels of the known world,
a kind of diagram that separates
heaven from earth from hell.

You must ask yourself:
where is it snowing?

White of forgetfulness,
of desecration—

It is snowing on earth; the cold wind says

Persephone is having sex in hell.
Unlike the rest of us, she doesn't know
what winter is, only that
she is what causes it.

She is lying in the bed of Hades.
What is in her mind?
Is she afraid? Has something
blotted out the idea
of mind?

She does know the earth
is run by mothers, this much
is certain. She also knows
she is not what is called
a girl any longer. Regarding
incarceration, she believes

she has been a prisoner since she has been a daughter.

The terrible reunions in store for her
will take up the rest of her life.
When the passion for expiation
is chronic, fierce, you do not choose
the way you live. You do not live;
you are not allowed to die.

You drift between earth and death
which seem, finally,
strangely alike. Scholars tell us

that there is no point in knowing what you want
when the forces contending over you
could kill you.

White of forgetfulness,
white of safety—

They say
there is a rift in the human soul
which was not constructed to belong
entirely to life. Earth

asks us to deny this rift, a threat
disguised as suggestion—
as we have seen
in the tale of Persephone
which should be read

as an argument between the mother and the lover—
the daughter is just meat.

When death confronts her, she has never seen
the meadow without the daisies.
Suddenly she is no longer
singing her maidenly songs
about her mother's
beauty and fecundity. Where
the rift is, the break is.

Song of the earth,
song of the mythic vision of eternal life—

My soul
shattered with the strain
of trying to belong to earth—

What will you do,
when it is your turn in the field with the god?



Louise Glück
773fa14e-e1e3-4c8e-8ea8-8fe9d5f2c4b3
In the first version, Persephone is taken from her mother and the goddess of the earth punishes the earth—this is consistent with what we know of human behavior, that human beings take profound satisfaction in doing harm, particularly unconscious harm: we may call this negative...
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13/10/2020 20:40:24
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  1. Salvastrella 22 ottobre 2020 ore 14:03
    Questo dettaglio:
    "When the passion for expiation
    is chronic, fierce, you do not choose
    the way you live. You do not live;
    you are not allowed to die."
    risuona come una campana tibetana.
  2. MaDamn 22 ottobre 2020 ore 17:02
    Bellissimo che il primo commento sul blog sia proprio a questo post.
    Tutte le altre sono mie vecchie conoscenze.
    Questa poesia invece no ed è il motivo per il quale l'ho aperto: il giorno dell'assegnazione del Nobel a Louise Glück ho fatto una ricerca per saperne di più e Persephone da allora non mi ha mai mollata.
    I versi da te evidenziati hanno colpito molto anche me, a dirla tutta, l'intera poesia è colma di significati e spunti anche violenti, se vogliamo.
    No, non mi lascia in pace.
    Grazie mille.
  3. Salvastrella 22 ottobre 2020 ore 18:38
    Glück è un sostantivo usato per la fortuna, in tedesco.
    Ero un buon lettore, finché (aggiungere qui una lista di scuse).
    Ho dovuto scorrere quelle righe più volte per avvicinarmi al ritmo con cui sono state stese, si possono percepire tempi e scenari, si legge il racconto mentre si è accompagnati dalla sua parafrasi.
    Lungi da me essere un intenditore, so cos'è un hapax solo per via di un gruppo musicale.
    È un ottimo spunto, da approfondire.
    E leggere (ampliare ai diversi sensi) parole che "ehy, questa cosa l'ho provata, pensata, in quell'angolo di me che posso vedere solo io allo specchio", provenienti da una persona estranea, con un proprio percorso... È una sensazione sorridente.

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