The graphic novel / poem, As if the earth had swallowed you, is a personal reinterpretation of the Greek myth of Persephone, the goddess of spring who was abducted by Hades to become his wife and queen of the underworld. After eating six pomegranate seeds in Hades’ realm, Persephone was forever bound to the world of the dead, unable to return to the world above. However, a special deal was struck, because Persephone’s mother, Demeter, Goddess of Harvest, threatened to let the people starve unless her daughter returned. From then on, Persephone would spend half of the year above ground with her mother (spring and summer), and half of the year in the underworld with Hades (autumn and winter). Through this myth, the ancient Greeks sought to explain the existence of the seasons. In this reimagining, Persephone is not a passive victim of abduction, as she has been portrayed in most of Western art and literature. Instead, it is her own curious and adventurous spirit that brings her to this strange underworld. As if the earth had swallowed you, is a poetic and multi-layered reflection on the cycle of the seasons, life, death and rebirth, loss, transformation and a girl’s coming-of-age.
As if the earth had swallowed you
Applied Context 2022—2023