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This poem is taken from PN Review 188, Volume 35 Number 6, July - August 2009.

Hymn to Demeter Peter McDonald

This is about Demeter, the long-haired goddess
Demeter, and about her child, a skinny-legged
little girl who was just taken away
one morning by Hades, Death himself, on the say-so
of his brother Zeus, the deep- and wide-bellowing God.
She was apart from her mother, and from Demeter’s
protecting sword, made all of gold, when he came;
she was running about in an uncut spring meadow
with her friends, the daughters of the god Ocean,
and picking flowers here and there - crocuses and wild roses,
with violets and tiny irises, then hyacinths
and one narcissus planted there by Gaia, the Earth,
as Zeus demanded, and as a favour to Death,
to trap the girl, whose own eyes were as small and bright
as the buds of flowers: it blazed and shone out
with astonishing colours, a prodigy as much for
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