Introduction & Overview of Seven Seeds

Jill Bialosky
This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Seven Seeds.
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Seven Seeds Summary & Study Guide Description

Seven Seeds Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Seven Seeds by Jill Bialosky.

"Seven Seeds" is a key poem at a turning point of Jill Bialosky's second book of poetry, Subterranean, published in 2001. It represents a high point of carefully woven verse and powerful meditation on themes such as motherhood, grief, and desire, for a poet who is rapidly emerging as a new talent. Although Bialosky's poetry does not clearly fit into a particular movement, this poem and many others in Subterranean establish a thoughtful female voice concerned with themes that range from secretive and personal to provocative and innovative.

"Seven Seeds" is one of the most important poems in the poet's writing about death and desire because it so fully combines the major mythological reference of Subterranean with the personal exploration of the speaker. In fact, in order to fully understand the poem, the reader must identify its references to the ancient Greek myth of Persephone's abduction by Hades, god of the underworld. Particularly important is the section of the myth from which the title comes, when Persephone eats seven pomegranate seeds while captive in the underworld; because of this act, she can go to her mother Demeter, the earth-goddess, but must return to her place in the underworld as the wife of Hades for part of each year.

Combining this myth with personal experience and universal themes of death, birth, and desire, Bialosky provides a poem of great interest to a modern reader or student of poetry. "Seven Seeds" is an excellent example of the use of a "conceit," or an elaborate, extended metaphor, and an allusion to an important theme from ancient mythology. This conceit, employed to develop new and complex thoughts that are highlighted in this entry, is characteristic of a sophisticated and engaging poetic style.

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This section contains 288 words
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Poetry for Students
Seven Seeds from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.