Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Just as the pomegrante symbolizes Persephone's time in the underworld, the Daffodil represents her springtime aspects for me.  The Homeric Hymn to Demeter paints the picture of young Persephone picking flowers.  It lists several flowers but holds a special role for the daffodil: 
"And the narcissus, which was grown as a lure for the flower faced girl by Gaia." 
I learned today that the daffiodil has a narcotic quality.  Perhaps Hades made sure to have Persephone drugged so he could snatch her into the underworld.

Daffodil is, of course, the common English name for the Narcissus.  The etymology may be from the world Asphodel, the flower that grew in the underworld itself forever connecting the yellow flower to the myth of Persephone. 

William Wordsworth immortalized the daffodil in his poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud."

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I can't wait to see the first daffodils this spring.

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