Music from the Basement with Persephone

Music from the Basement with Persephone

“Core stands for the green corn, Persephone for the ripe ear, and Hecate for the harvested corn — the `carline wife’ of the English countryside” (Robert Graves, The Greek Myths).

Oh, goddess Kore
eternal maiden,
allow my fingers
on these piano keys
to reach into your sacred dances,
playing variations on my own
virginal yearnings,
opening to the ripe ears of corn
picked up in my memory
in Westminster Vermont
as I came home
from my summertime Perini construction work,
building Route 91
and its Interstate highway system
to link the United States.

Enter me with your mystery oh Kore —
now Persephone,
dreaming in my underground basement
and bring your presence
to these Bach Inventions
and early Beethoven sonatas under your care,
the ripe ear of the Vermont sweet corn,
dreaming of rebirth
and destruction at once,
played out up above
as my grandmother,
surely one of your followers,
sucks the ripe corn exclaiming,
ecstatic and dancing with you,
nearly fainting what with her earthly delights.

Oh great goddess, Persephone,
follow me down to the basement,
sit with me on the piano bench,
guiding my fingers
so they touch the buried
stream of my heart,
penetrating, lifting me
to bring your mystery
into my presence.