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Mother Love

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Overview

Calling upon the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, Mother Love examines the love between mother and daughter, two tumblers locked in an eternal somersault: each mother a daughter, each daughter a potential mother.
In settings as various as a patio in Arizona, the bistros and boulevards of Paris, the sun-drenched pyramids of Mexico—and directly from the Greek myth itself—Rita Dove explores this relationship and the dilemma of letting...

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Overview

Calling upon the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, Mother Love examines the love between mother and daughter, two tumblers locked in an eternal somersault: each mother a daughter, each daughter a potential mother.
In settings as various as a patio in Arizona, the bistros and boulevards of Paris, the sun-drenched pyramids of Mexico—and directly from the Greek myth itself—Rita Dove explores this relationship and the dilemma of letting go.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This slim volume shows Dove-Pulitzer Prize winner, novelist and 1993-95 U.S. Poet Laureate-at the height of her poetic powers. In the tightly crafted two-page introduction, essential to understanding these sequential poems, she cites Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus as her model. She notes that she has elected the tightly constrained sonnet form to explore the mother/ daughter drama because its narrators-here variously Demeter, Persephone and nameless modern-day mothers and daughters-``are struggling to sing in their chains.'' In some poems the speaker's energy breaks free, but Dove continually returns to the strict 14-linesonnet form. However, whereas Rilke maintains a division between self and other, the human and godly, Dove merges her voices into the voice of a single speaker. The result is vividly contemporary and ironic, occasionally bordering on farce. Hell is depicted as pseudo-cultured Parisian society or an Italian grotto; the narrator, confronting a ``gatekeeper'' who is obviously afraid of the dark presence before him, quips, ``hasn't he seen an American Black/ before? We find a common language: German.'' (May)
Helen Vendler - The New Yorker
“Mother Love is an unsparing book. . . . Rita Dove's laser glance exposes and cauterizes its subjects in new and disturbing ways.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393314441
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 78
  • Sales rank: 696,584
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and musician, lives in Charlottesville, where she is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: An Intact World
Heroes 3
Primer 7
Party Dress for a First Born 8
Persephone, Falling 9
The Search 10
Protection 11
The Narcissus Flower 12
Persephone Abducted 13
Statistic: The Witness 14
Grief: The Council 15
Mother Love 17
Breakfast of Champions 18
Golden Oldie 19
Persephone in Hell 23
Hades' Pitch 37
Wiederkehr 38
Wiring Home 39
The Bistro Styx 40
Blue Days 45
Nature's Itinerary 46
Sonnet in Primary Colors 47
Demeter Mourning 48
Exit 49
Afield 50
Lost Brilliance 51
Political 55
Demeter, Waiting 56
Lamentations 57
Teotihuacan 58
History 59
Used 60
Rusks 61
Missing 62
Demeter's Prayer to Hades 63
Her Island 67
About the Author 79
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Customer Reviews

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