Persephone in America
This book reimagines myth, loss, and redemption through the contemporary female experience. In ""Persephone in America"", Alison Townsend deftly weaves autobiography with myth in this reinvention of the tale of Demeter and Persephone as seen from the modern woman's perspective. Fraught with emotional honesty, this captivating collection of lyrical and narrative poems chronicles the struggles of the figurative Persephone in three parts - the abduction, descent to the underworld, and return. Townsend turns a shrewd eye to her own experiences, as well as to the lives of other women, to offer an unflinching yet deeply compassionate exploration of such themes as girlhood and the vulnerability of the motherless; the demons of depression, addiction, and abuse; as well as passion, aging, and celebration of the natural world. Although the poems traverse dark emotional territory at times, the picture that emerges ultimately is one of reyelation and wisdom. ""Persephone in America"" is above all a journey of the soul, following the narrator as she explores what it means to be a woman in America, at times descending into darkness, only to emerge into redemption and realize 'time's sweet and invincible secret - that everything repeats - and we watch it.' Townsend's candid portrait of female loss and discovery seeks to illuminate the truths inherent in myth, and the awakenings that hide in our darkest moments. ""Finding Hell on the Map"" - It is easy to imagine hell in the wrong place, human to want to make it something real or geographical, a landscape we can point to on a map. The San Andreas Fault, the Luray Caverns, or that spot in the Hudson River the Dutch called World's End, because the currents there pull you down in every direction. Who wouldn't want to place it outside the body? Who wouldn't flinch.
- Paperback | 96 pages
- 164.59 x 228.6 x 9.65mm | 217.72g
- 01 Mar 2009
- Southern Illinois University Press
- Carbondale, United States
Other books in this series
About Alison Townsend
Alison Townsend is an associate professor of English and women's studies at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. She is the author of And Still the Music, What the Body Knows, and The Blue Dress: Poems and Prose Poems.