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Winning Fiction

November 5, 2009

Poetry At SixThe belly goddess played a subtle but starring role in Poetry At Six — one of the top three stories selected from 3,600 entries in National Public Radio’s recent Three-Minute Fiction contest.

The stories, 600 words max, had to start with this sentence: The nurse left work at five o’clock.

A nurse — limping Iambe — figures in the Greek legend of Demeter and her daughter Persephone. She’s the one who tells rowdy jokes and dances a bawdy jig for Demeter, who’s been immobilized by grief. That’s the turning point: Iambe makes Demeter laugh, enabling the Great Goddess to take heart and resume the search for the daughter whom Hades has abducted.

What are the connections between “Iambe,” the rhythm implicit in her limp, and “iamb,” a measure of poetic meter? Poetry At Six begins to explore some possibilities…

Read the story

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