Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


From "The Pomegranate" by Eavan Boland

The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.

This is my mini-post for Persephone reading week. I am madly grading, somewhat mad-eyed and crazed in my demeanor. Last night I read a bit of The World That Was Ours--stolen time. Hilda Bernstein describes the insidious chipping away at civil liberties as the South African regime takes away rights, cordons off Soweto and other townships, and intimidates political activists. Bernstein tells of repeated raids, during which the police searched the Bernstein home, taking papers, periodicals, books:

"What did they do with the mountains of printed material? Having stripped our home year after year of political books and books that were not political, having removed countless copies of papers and magazines that were publicly and legally published, what had they ever learned from them, apart from the facts that had never been concealed in the first place? That we read a great deal and were interested in socialism?.....What did they do with all the books they took? And who...was concerned with Short Stories by Anton Chekhov, or A Dictionary of Quotations, or Women of Asia and Africa?"


Grad said...

I loved the poem you posted here. My son, John, always loved mythology and he was actually the one who told me the story of Persephone. When he was in high school, he brought a stray kitten home who he insisted we call Persephone (Percy for short).

Priya Parmar said...

i love the story of persephone and then the women who took the pomegranate as their emblem (catherine of aragon included) were so interesting too! great poem and good luck with the grading!

bibliophiliac said...

I've always loved this myth...

Carol said...

Really like your Blog- I'll be back!

bibliophiliac said...

Carol, thanks for stopping by.