Persephone is a figure from Greek myth. Her mother was Demeter, the goddess of grain and the harvest. Persephone's abduction by the god Hades caused her mother such grief that she made the crops die out, and the Earth became barren until Persephone was returned.
While Zeus successfully arranged for her return, Persephone, because she ate several pomegranate seeds while in the underworld, was forced to return to Hades and live with him for four months out of every year. During these months, Demeter grieves and lets the crops die out again. When Persephone returns every spring, Demeter rejoices and causes everything to grow again. In this way, Persephone personifies the seasonal death and rebirth of crops and vegetation.