|Reviews for Persephone, Eve, Mary|
| DreamingEternal 10/4/09 . chapter 1
I like how you combine different mythologies/belief systems into this one poem. I love the connection formed between Eve's apple and Persephone's pommegranite, though I have to admit that i didn't quite see how Mary and baby Jesus fit in with the other two.
Wonderful use of description, metaphor, and simile. Each line of yours is a work of art.
| Isca 8/27/09 . chapter 1
"Meandered." Nice word choice.
"Bare foot." Good. I like the 'pilgrimmage' imagery here.
"The boney arms of Joseph." LOL. I like this line. For some reason, I found it so amusing - as if Joseph was entirely useless.
"Has starved for the weight of seed." That, my dear, is a lovely line. Your writing is reaching new leaps and bounds. Pretty soon, there will be nothing your readers can say but "wow."
"Moans ejaculate from her lips." WHOA! What a line! :D
"She will show nothing." This is probably my favourite line. I can relate to it so well. Mary and I seem to prefer stoicism to emotionality.
"A boy born with the face of a man." Wow. I like the idea that Jesus was born with an innate sense of purpose and wisdom.
"And lay himself across her in the grips of Death." OH MY GOD! That's the best plot twist ever. I love that Jesus felt the need to 'plant his seed' in a woman before dying - that's so profound (especially if he did so because he knew that he would be betrayed and later crucified).
"Damnation is akin to the first soft moments when her
ribs were still tucked deep inside Adam’s body; tucked
like a memory, like a reclusive secret, like a harbor where
the winds sway favorably, and she is at the helm, harrowing.
Her eyes are meteors. Her lips twisted shrapnel." I had to quote this entire passage. Truly, Juliet, this section of the poem is incredible - each line is ripe with imagery and emotion. Your writing here is quite masterful. The line, "tucked like a memory," was particularly mind-blowing. :D
"She is the first portrait." I love the fact that you so subtly connected art and nature here - such divine aestheticism!
"Women were made to attract dead and dark things." Aha. This line is so thought-provoking and startling. I like that you associated women with the 'dark' side of the universe. By the way, the fact that you compared 'the first woman' (i.e. Eve) to 'the first beauty' (i.e. Olympia/Venus), made this poem that much more extraordinary.
"Hunger is a faculty only shared by women." This opening line carries with it an air of wisdom that is truly inspiring. It could easily be a quote from a famous philosopher.
"Though, these are not the gardens of her mother's breasts." Wow. Everything about this line is perfect: the lush imagery, the striking tone, the nature/woman theme, etc. I also love the subtle allusion here to Demeter.
"Slit-holes." Excellent description.
"All she sees is darkness." The tone of this line is very blunt and melancholic - reminding the reader that Persephone was abducted from the lovely fields of Enna.
I love the 'pomegranate' part. Poor Persephone was tricked into returning to Hades for at least one season of the year. Also, I'm glad that you mentioned Orpheus - it was wise of you to include multiple versions of the same myth.
| xanticristos 8/25/09 . chapter 1
Wow, very impressive piece!
I love how you tied these three mythological women and their stories together, using different (and most appropriate) fruit and hunger. I loved the other similarities I found between them, strengthening their bond, such as their ability to "attract dead and dark things". Persephone attracts Hades, an obvious dead and dark thing, Eve attracts the serpent, and Mary attracts god himself, whom I personally would consider a dead and dark thing (especially if he's the one who made things predetermined). About the hunger itself, I'm still not sure whether this faculty of hunger they have is a misfortunate - is it their nature to be forced to starve until they must take matters, or fruit, into their own hands and bite down, with unfortunate results? - or something inspiring, that they should seek the power they've been denied (such as the tree of knowledge etc), though still with disastrous results, at least they felt they had to try? I might be completely wrong in my thinking but at least it got me thinking ;)
The imagery you use is absolutely lovely. "Licking the lavender" is probably my favorite, just beautiful. A soft word like lavender is also not one you'd expect to contribute to a word like aching. The more beautiful imagery like the lavender, the harbor, the bloom across her abdomen (wonderful!), and picking wildflowers was contrasted nicely with the more powerful, gripping descriptions... such as "sucking dry scarletted teeth", serpents slithering and curling around her thighs, "harpies deflowering equality as though it were a violation", and "moans ejaculate from her lips."
If it's not obvious already, I really enjoyed your poem, though I still feel as though I don't fully grasp it, but it was truly a gem to read because your language is so sophisticated. I'm glad you put the women in the order that you did, from first to last. The ending was especially interesting to me - the line "Death, hot and gratuitous" made me think of Cioran, who wrote similar aphorisms in "The Trouble with Being Born." Were you saying that the child-bed, being born at all, was gratuitous? Also, the last line was perfect to wrap it up. It felt complete.
Some (very) minor technical things I wondered about, which may have been intentional, I'm not sure: "Thorny, as any steam" - is this supposed to read "stem" instead of steam? I don't get it if it's supposed to be steam. I also think "ill-fated, though predetermined" doesn't make sense, aren't you saying the same thing twice?
In any case, wonderful, deep, thought-provoking poem.
| MittensInSummertime 8/24/09 . chapter 1
I love the way that you used mythology/biblical concepts and related them to one overlying concept. You definitely did your research, and the intelligence regarding the background shows. It seems intimidating at first, but overall, I loved the relation because they were solid concepts mixed in with your original words! Now, relating your words, they are very well written. I love your word choice. It's very eloquent, and well written. I took from the theme something very strong in history, which was a sense that it is inherent in human nature to give in to temptation, just as it is inherent in humans to die. There were also some femininity concepts, which I enjoyed. Overall, I liked this a lot. You are a very strong writer.
| in theory 8/21/09 . chapter 1
As soon as I saw the title in my email inbox (I get your poems hand-delivered to me!)I thought of fertility, and change. I don't know if this is what you thought of when you tied the three women together, but Persephone; the goddess that decided the changing of the seasons, set the cycle of fertility. Eve, the mother of humanity, sin and the ultimate changing of humankind. Mary, the mother of Christ, changing her into a religious icon herself. I smelled a theme ;)
Your first line I found hard to swallow. Hunger is a faculty only shared by women. I had to find "faculty" in my dictionary before I could work out how to argue this, and I found it to say "a capacity for a natural function, intellectual endowment or power over". This struck a nerve in me. I would have to disagree, I think both sexes 'hunger' equally, but for different things entirely. Taking it in context of a hunger for something unique to women, like motherhood, then yes I concede, unwillingly hehe.
"The saffron of her womanhood ripe" I adore this, it kind of hints at pubic hair and the most exquisite, expensive herb in the same line, it's quite bizarrely beautiful. It sticks out even more in my brain as saffron is a bright orange colour, so it's even more plausible that you are talking about pubic hair (albeit in a much less crude way than I could). And it's a rare herb too, giving the image that she has not fully "developed" into womanhood, there is just enough to suggest it.
The whole first stanza just throbs with fertility, the 'gardens' of her mothers breasts, the ripeness, 'pulp'. It gets quite sad quite quickly though, but with Persephone you can't really expect anything different.
'perhaps Orpheus' lute, licking the lavender rememberance deep in the pit of her stomach, aching'
Lavender makes me think of a kind of narcotic power, and this ties in nicely with Orpheus' own power, like his music combines with her own grief and together they are refined into a heavy kind of sadness that sits in her stomach, literally tangible. Also it continues the hunger motif; sometimes hunger itself aches more than being full, and sadness can be so ravenous.
(One thing I was expecting to read, and didn't find [not a bad thing, just a thought] is any reference to the seeds that she sucked in the garden of Hades. I was looking for it because of the fertile richness of the first stanza, it would have been another link in the chain in my opinion.)
In a few of your previous poems you talk about the rib metaphor, I love how you use it here as a "harbour". Like the ribcage of Adam, a secret harbour where womankind is resting. The 'winds swaying favourably' makes me think of the time before sin. "She is at the helm, harrowing" is beautiful, I instantly thought of a woman perched on the helm of a ship and Adam's heart at the same time; both points of steering, and she's harrowing both of them together. To steer the ship out of him by steering his heart into longing for her, as though she had a power over him/mankind before she/womankind was even corporeal. It makes me jealous, and vaguely ashamed to be male, as I agree that women are the 'stronger' of the genders. I adore this stanza, and the next line is breathtaking:
"Her eyes are meteors. Her lips twisted shrapnel"
Such vibrant metaphors for destruction, the lips make me think of the shape they may have made while chewing the apple. "She is something dangerous" this whole stanza is seductive, it relates back to the image of Eve harrowing Adam's heart. "Inbred from something greater" ...I always considered God to be a hermaphrodite; emotionally to be a mother and father figure for his son, he must have been. So Eve could have been even MORE "inbred", taken from the body of her brother, father and mother and made from the essences of all three, but not in the biological sense. I think I am in danger of rambling here, but let's just say the twisted, dark and "harpy" image you paint of Eve is reinforced by this one line, to me.
Biting down on the forbidden fruit, a fantastic way to link this story to Persephone's.
This is my favourite section, I love how you describe the bloom of pregnancy to keep her "safe". Like a shield, the silhouette of a pregnant women inspires a nurturing feeling in most people, regardless of gender. Again you bring up the faculty of hunger, but the link to motherhood is something I can't argue because I don't understand it, not really. I have 'starved' for totally different things, but am nonetheless fascinated by how she starved while simultaneously physically producing food.
Biting down, instead of screaming, the temporary restraint, again links this section perfectly with the previous two.
"A boy born with the face of a man" I love this line too (I appear to be quoting most of this piece, ha!)
After reaching the end I was struck by the looping back to Persephone, and how you say it was predetermined, as Eve, and Mary. I'm not a believer in fate, but this piece tempted me into at least considering it. I was totally absorbed, one of your 'grander' pieces; you have a way of creating something luxurious, it feels like I should pay to read it, like a museum display. But definitely not as pompous, I mean come on, you pretty much confirmed that Persephone has ginger pubes...(I'm sorry it's still stuck in my mind).
Sorry for the length & delay in reviewing, I have slept for about 30 hours after binging on 5 seasons of the original X-Men (I am still a boy despite the poetry ;D)
| tonight we bloom 8/21/09 . chapter 1
Wow, this is SO beautiful I can't even tell you how much I love it. You have true talent, and I aspire to write like you!
I would really like for you to review some of my newer works because opinions and suggestions from someone like you would really help. Thank you, and hope to read more of your stuff in the future!
Never stop writing.
| Brenda Agaro 8/20/09 . chapter 1
A beautiful poem. I love the imager and word choice. Very effective.
| May Elizabeth 8/20/09 . chapter 1
This poem is epic. I loved it. :D