Persephone’s Bedchamber #poetry #dVerse

Persephone’s bedchamber
or was it
Bertha Mason?
Here, where she went mad
rending her hair and whatnot
the way women do
when the womb wanders
nothing for it then
lock them up
leave food outside the door
hear her howling at the moon
no one would ever love her
no never, never, never
except perhaps
that Darklord
who calls to pull her under
the bed
is a chamberpot
a crystal chandelier
take the rope
and tie the knot
step off the pot
jump clear
now the only sound you hear
is swinging
Persephone’s deathchamber.

© 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Written for dVerse

Tonight, Sarah is hosting Poetics, and has asked us to be inspired by the mythological figure of Persephone. You can read more about her in Sarah’s post. She challenges us to:

…take inspiration from this myth. I’ve tried to keep my retelling as minimal as possible to give you space to use your imagination. Give me a poem that bubbles up from this mixed up family saga, a poem that smells of spring, or is touched by the dark fingers of the lord of the dead.

I went to a very dark place with the prompt: a cathartic experience!

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

83 thoughts on “Persephone’s Bedchamber #poetry #dVerse

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  1. Ingrid, I think Persephone’s imprisonment left us both with dark feelings that needed to be expressed. Powerful poeming, my friend.

  2. This is deliciously dark, Ingrid! I have often wondered what would transpire if Persephone were to succumb under pressure. The image of one “howling at the moon,” is most apt. 💝💝

  3. Very dark place indeed — and successfully so! This reminds me of the 1800s and early 1900s when women were locked up in asylums for “female” troubles and for many a reason if they were so unlucky to have a husband who was ready to move on….he could claim she was insane. Dark days indeed, locked in a cell….and your ending was many an ending for these poor women, seen as little more than creatures.

    1. I am fairly sure this would have been my fate at that time…I wrote the poem at the height of PMDD and it really does feel like insanity sometimes! I am feeling fine today thankfully 😅

      1. … I suppose most of the best poetry (in my opinion), fiction or non-fiction, comes from a place of ones own experiences of adversity. A manifestation of our darkest, and strongest, moments.

        I admire how you’ve turned it into something beautifully written.

  4. Anger and anguish! You pull the abusive, incestuous aspect of the myth bang into focus. How many women have been locked away for bearing witness? Very impressive.

  5. You went dark and it’s so fantastic. These lines are very haunting and visceral:

    “and tie the knot
    step off the pot
    jump clear
    now the only sound you hear
    is swinging
    Persephone’s deathchamber.”

    Love how you referenced Jane Eyre in this piece with Bertha Mason. 😀 It’s tragic, really, what women went through during those times and how you compare that to the short end of the stick Persephone has to deal with in Hades, it’s understandable why someone would not want to live that life anymore. So beautifully and eloquently penned, Ingrid!

  6. Sadly there was a time when women suffering from postmenopausal issues were sent to an asylum. Your poem is beautifully written.

    1. Thank you Beverly. I don’t even want to think about postmenopausal issues with the trouble I’m already having at the moment!

  7. Great piece and dark indeed. A bit of a scary thought. It makes me stop and think how bad things were for women for so long and still are in way too many places. ❤️

  8. I always like your dark works m’lady — lotsa impact therein. This took me tight doen under that bed to observe. Well written, as usual Ingrid! 🙂 BTW – your book came today from Amazon. It is out in my mailbox at the dnd of the drive. I plan to go get it after dinner. 👍

  9. I enjoyed this poem. It was dark but your choice of la gauge a d pace made me smile! ☺️ Not so funny, just a hint of depression would be enough to declare a woman a lunatic and put in an asylum s recent as 100 years ago. 😧😳. Scary isn’t it.

  10. Dark, indeed, and well done. I always felt sorry for poor Bertha, too. I suppose she and Jane were both imprisoned in a way, or could be the two sides of Persephone.

  11. Joy or despair or resignation. Victory or acceptance or death. You touch on every contradictory aspect of Persephone’s story.

  12. This is so reminiscent of of this period and you went deep and dark which I love with the depth of your abilities to reach into the underworld Ingrid,. This might sound a little weird but I loved this because it felt like she was finally having fun swinging by her lonesome.. I suppose I thought of Dream catcher..
    “a crystal chandelier
    take the rope
    and tie the knot
    step off the pot
    jump clear
    now the only sound you hear
    is swinging
    Persephone’s deathchamber.

  13. A psychological relief for the well-being of someone imprisoned is most appropriate here, Ingrid! It is dark in perspective much about a build-up of sympathy for her. A great post, Ma’am!


  14. A swingin’ mace of a poem, Ingrid. Shakespeare understood that when nature is disordered, the mind turns upside down. Is that when “the womb wanders”? What’s frightening here is that many of us have gone close to that bedchamber and felt a cold breath on our shoulder …

    1. Thanks Brendan. For me, PMDD is the ultimate expression of ‘the wandering womb’ – I imagine it’s been around for centuries, though it used to be given different names…

  15. I am with you. You make it clear, Persephone got a really bad deal.
    Do you mind telling me why the hash tags in the title? I am curious about what advantage there is in doing this.

  16. You expose the lie of benefit. Stolen, she gives up on her life to take the only pleasure available. Found, she has to give up half her life for the privilege. There is little justice in gender then and now.

  17. Your line of admirers is so long, here at the end, I cannot see the beginning. Your poem has great insight, huge sadness, and terminal darkness. This blight on history was more than evident, and went along with women being prevented from owning property or voting.

  18. Many years ago, I toured an eighteenth century assylum in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. It was horrific and chilling! Ingrid, your perfectly paced poem captured the horror of the myth exquisitely! <3

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