How successfully does ‘Demeter’ bring the collection to a close?
Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘The Worlds Wife’ explores fiction and fantasy subverted with real life everyday experiences to reveal the truth. Through dramatizing scenes from childhood to adult life she discovers consolation and relief from love. The collections poems are questioning theories, marriage and themes such as feminism. Duffy does this in a very liberated, witty and sometimes uncomfortable way. Demeter successfully brings this collection to a close in my opinion as just as the reader has become accustomed to Duffys bold, hard, real way of describing life and love, Demeter gives them their faith back and offers them hope in a very intimate and devoted sonnet.
The poem Demeter is about Demeter the Greek goddess and explores the Greek myth in which Demeter’s and Zeus’ daughter Persephone is taken to the underworld by Hades; the king of the underworld. Demeter, in her miserable, maternal grief is left in a cold lonely world of everlasting winter until her daughter is returned to her for part of each year by Hades after pressure from the other Gods, bringing life, warmth, hope and ‘all springs flowers with her’.
Duffy takes the sonnet, a usually constraining form, associated with love to present the tension of loss and resurrection, hopeless despair and the revelation when love is returned.
Even though, in the poem it is Persephone who is captured and dragged to the underworld, it is Demeter who is more ‘dead’ than Persephone and it is ironic that it is Demeter who must be rescued, as she is living ‘hell on earth’, she is resurrected when Persephone returns. This suggests that life without love is pointless, sad and lonely, she is dead, life is not worth living without her daughter, she is in an everlasting winter; ‘Where I lived,- winter and hard earth’. The words that she uses to describe are simple and easy but used in a very complicated way, there is no flow or continuity throughout the...
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