There are two well-known Hymns in Homeric Hymns collection which are Hymns for Demeter and Apollo which are two very different story from one another. There are also incoherent pieces of poems which are included in my copy of Homeric Hymns but I would rather prefer reading it accompanied with notes.
As for Hymn to Demeter, I do admit, it took me a long while to realize it was the story of Persephone’s mother and how Hades’s abduction (dirty uncle) made Demeter angry and moody and bitchy the whole time in the world. She’s the goddess of grain, fertility and harvest so… if she’s pissed off, the world will die in starvation. Luckily Zeus found a way to lure Persephone out from Hades but Hades have some trick under his sleeves.
The Hymns of Apollo is a double story that set in different places. One is for Apollo’s birth while another about his oracle when he was called Phytian Apollo. Unfortunately, due to my Paranormal Romance aka Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron reading, I do have some problem with trying to see Apollo as a likeable character. He did killed Acheron you know.
Delian Apollo is about the birth of Apollo and how the other gods fear him and how Leto had to find a place for her birthing where she undergo long labor for nine days and night and the how the people of Delos overjoyed by the birth while the Phytian Apollo is the story that was specific to Delphi where he killed a snake called Phyto (root word “to rot”), then he settle a place for his temple and went to find his worshipers who ended up being oracles. The rest of the poem is praising Apollo or Zeus or Leto (tch.. Dune!) and as much as I tried to read this book. The poems do seems to be overbearing if you have a deary translator.
Although the author tried to be Homer in term of the hexameters but there’s a huge differences between the writings and the stories. Most of the poems is more in tone of giving descriptive on rituals and the story behind it. Homer is more attuned to the epic and heroism and there are less concentrations on the deathless gods in his rhapsodies. So if anyone trying to say Homeric Hymns is Homer, they’re more likely never read the texts.