Catherynne M. Valente

(5 May 1979 / Seattle, Washington)

Past the Rivers Poem by Catherynne M. Valente


I sat as if a statue,
and Hades brushed my hair
with a comb of iron and asphodel.

I sat as if an icon,
and Demeter brushed my hair
with a comb of crocus and water.

On either side of my candled body,
they held out my hair like wings,
and ran their fingers through it,
oars through black and separate rivers.

And Hades' hand was on my knee, saying:

You are safe here,
where we have brought you.

And Demeter's arms were close on mine, saying:

We only meant the dark
to be a quiet pool
where we can whisper
and remain unheard.

The sky is so bright, and so brazen.

Submitted: Monday, December 12, 2011
Edited: Monday, December 12, 2011

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Comments about this poem (Past the Rivers by Catherynne M. Valente )

  • Rookie - 7 Points Dea Dear (4/27/2014 6:26:00 AM)

    hello i am a poet from iraq i like to send you these lines of my poetry...... if you are wise.what is the value living, , , , , , , without sending useful texts or receiving, , , , , , even if there is no good reders....as in iraq but they obey leaders (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 297 Points Chris Leermakers (4/27/2013 5:25:00 AM)

    Very Interesting & Entertaining Poem. Great Write. Feel Free To Check Out Some Of My Poems. It Would Be Great To Get Some Feedback From Someone As Accomplished Such As Yourself. I am in the process of releasing My Ebook and publish my Hard Copy I'm the next few months. Cheers, Chris. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie William F Dougherty (4/27/2012 3:36:00 PM)

    Mythopoesis will be lost here, but know that one conversant with archetypalism endorses you energetically.
    Send me a gossamer strand. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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