Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Daffodils



Now it's British Summer Time with longer light in the day and very slowly getting warmer, its great to just get outdoors with a camera. I thought I'd better snap these dafs soon before they disappear for another year. And yes that is a grave-stone in the background, quite appropriately as regards the myth and poetry associated with the daffodil.

The symbolism and stories behind flowers is quite interesting. The Persians named the daffodil "the Golden" and the Turks "the golden bowl". But its in Greek mythology that the symbolism of the flower is most developed. In Greek mythology it was the flower that Venus recommended to Pluto to drop from his chariot to entice Prosperine to the infernal regions. The Daffodil is thus symbolic of unrequited love. Chaucer alludes to the Greek myth of Prosperine and the daffodil in his poem 'The Winter's Tale'.

O Prosperina,
For the flowers now that, frighted, thou lettest fall
From Dis's wagon: daffodils
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty.

The Elizabethan poet Robert Herrick waxed lyrical in his address to daffodils, the flowers themselves replying in the second verse.

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
Ye haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attained his noon:
Stay, stay,
Until the hastening day has run
But to the even-song,
Will go with ye along.

We have short time to stay as ye,
We have as fleet a Spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you or anything:
We die
As your hours do, and dry away,
Like to the Summer's rain.
Or as the pearl of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
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