Persephone Descends to the Underworld by Chariot by Hugh McMillan

Persephone Descends to the Underworld by Chariot
(After the painting by Carlo Francesco Nuvolone)

Don’t despair sisters,
this is the bit I like the best,
the hot breath and hooves,
my chiton streaming in the breeze.

We’ve hung about half-naked
in the woods all these weeks
and believe me, the sap has risen.
He has his hand on my round belly

but the season for cakes is over.
Look, snow on Mount Helicon:
I go to my bed of coals
and there won’t be much sleeping done.

Hugh McMillan is a poet from South West Scotland, an award winner in several competitions including the Smith/Doorstep Pamphlet Prize, the Callum MacDonald Prize and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition. His Selected Poems were published by Luath Press in September 2015.


  1. Fabulous poem by Hugh McMillan! I love the sensuality…so simply and beautifully crafted. I’ve always thought Persephone WAS a pretty willing participant in her winter months down there.


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