Monday, October 7, 2013



“… from dusk they take their name, and flit by night" ~Ovid*

From dusk, the hour, stolen stole
a means by which a shape is lost & hid
Phersephassa** stolen, too, once green
and new and hid from light
now everything awakens to the flight

a voice begins as if in wings
tiny sounds in parchment stir and sting
tiny-sized and Hermes-seized declare
the time is now to climb and ride the air
they fashion what a shape in loss returns
dusk, the hour, stolen, stolen bright
and everything awakens to the night 

©2013 “Nykteris” stephanie pope


 *Ovid, “Metamorphoses” 4. 422 ff
 **Perse’phone, a goddess giving  meaning a subtle manner
Περσεφόνη), in Latin Proserpina, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. (Hom. Il. 14.326, Od. 11.216; Hes. Theog. 912, &c. ; Apollod. 1.5.1.) Her name is commonly derived from φερειν φόνον, "to bring" or "cause death," and the form Persephone occurs first in Hesiod (Hes. Th. 913; comp. Horn. Hymm. in Cer. 56), the Homeric form being Persephoneia. But besides these forms of the name, we also find Persephassa, Phersephassa, Persephatta, Phersephatta. Pherrephassa, Pherephatta, and Phersephoneia, for which various etymologies have been proposed. The Latin Proserpina, which is probably only a corruption of the Greek, was erroneously derived by the Romans from proscrpere,"to shoot forth." (Cic. de Nat. Deor. 2.26.) Being the infernal goddess of death, she is also called a daughter of Zeus and Styx (Apollod. 1.3.1 ); in Arcadia she was worshipped under the name of Despoena, and was called a daughter of Poseidon, Hippius, and Demeter, and said to have been brought up by the Titan Anytus. (Paus. 8.37.3, 6, 25.5.) Homer describes her as the wife of llades, and the formidable, venerable, and majestic queen of the Shades, who exercises her power, and carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead, along with her husband. (Hom. Od. 10.494, 11.226, 385, (134, Il. 9.457, 569; comp. Apollod. 1.9.15.) Hence she is called by later writers Juno Inferna, Auerna, and Stygia (Verg. A. 6.138; Ov. Met. 14.114), and the Erinnyes are said to have been daughters of her by Pluto. (Orph. Hymn. 29. 6, 6, 70. 3.) Groves sacred to her are said by Homer to be in the western extremity of the earth, on the frontiers of the lower world, which is itself called the house of Persephone. (Od. 10.491, 509.)