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Persephone Made Me Do It Book Review

Persephone, goddess of spring and queen of the Underworld, has had quite the spotlight in literature lately. By now, we've seen multiple versions of Persephone's tale, but Trista Mateer's latest poetry collection Persephone Made Me Do allows the goddess to tell her own story while the poet relates in her own ways.

Persephone Made Me Do It Review Coffee, Book, and Candle

Genre: Modern Poetry

Category: Emotional Read

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Rating: 5/5 Stars


"You don't get to go through Hell
and come out the same."

"Kore was dead.
Persephone's what was left."

Persephone Made Me Do It channels the goddess's voice, rage, and grief through poetry and art. Mateer also expresses her own fury and heartbreak, and the ways she can empathize with the goddess.

Because darker topics are touched on in this book, I recommend awareness of the trigger warnings, which are listed at the beginning of the book (the worst of which include death, SA, and abuse).

"I wasn't ready to become what I had to become."

Since Persephone's mother played such a major role in her story, this collection has a lot to say about the complicated nature of the mother / daughter relationship. It also touches on abuse, survival, and the longing for power and the unknown.

"I wanted things my mother didn't understand.
I wanted things I didn't understand.
I wanted freedom and I wanted power."

Persephone is one of my favorite deities, so of course I was immediately interested. Since I had already read Mateer's first goddess-centric poetry book Aphrodite Made Me Do It, I knew I could expect powerful, magical work. Unsurprisingly, I found myself highlighting multiple poems and lines.

"Sometimes women must
swallow darkness
in order to grow,
to change,
to defend themselves.
I am the darkness.

Much of the artwork included throughout the book is very modern and bright, and many have a paper cutout vibe. But there are also black-and-white pictures with angry scribble marks. I love how the art reflects Persephone's duality of light and dark, the vivid colors of spring verses the colorless void of the underworld.

If you've read any of Trista Mateer's other work, this latest book will feel familiar. If not, you're in for a treat. I would recommend this book (and her other works) to fans of feminist poetry or Greek mythology in general, as well as readers with complex feelings towards their mother figures and hometowns, provided they've read the content warnings.

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Persephone Made Me Do It Coffee Book and Candle

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