Double Persephone

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Double Persephone
Cover of a copy of Double Persephone
Author Margaret Atwood
Cover artist Margaret Atwood
Country Canadian
Language English
Genre Poetry
Publication date

Double Persephone is a self-published poetry collection written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood in 1961.[1] Atwood handset the book herself with a flat bed press, designed the cover with linoblocks, and only made 220 copies.[2] It was the first publication released by Atwood, and comprises seven poems: "Formal Garden", "Pastoral", "Iconic Landscape", "Persephone Departing", "Chthonic Love", "Her Song", "and "Double Persephone".

The opening poem of Double Persephone, "Formal Garden," a "girl with the gorgon touch" walks through the title location searching for "a living wrist and arm", but all she finds is "a line of statues" with "marble flesh.[3] The girl apparently has traits similar to Medusa, who could turn men to stone by glancing upon them.[3]

Atwood followed up the collection with another book of poetry released in 1964, The Circle Game.[2]

Won the EJ Pratt medal.[4]


  1. ^ Atwood, Margaret (20 February 2011). "Tools of Change: The Publishing Pie, February 15, 2011". Wordpress. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Atwood, Margaret (February 2011). The Publishing Pie: An Author's View. Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. New York: O'Reilly Media. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Davey, Frank (1997). "Atwood's Gorgon Touch". Studies in Canadian Literature. 2 (2). 
  4. ^ [1]