two springs ago, i posted wordsworth’s daffodils, which is one of my favourite poems – and today want to add another daffodil poem to the list of favorite spring poems – to me this is wordsworth updated – hughes takes the wordsworthian daffodil ideal and turns it into a beautiful love poem – i like it very much
Daffodils by Ted Hughes
Remember how we picked the daffodils?
Nobody else remembers, but I remember.
Your daughter came with her armfuls, eager and happy,
Helping the harvest. She has forgotten.
She cannot even remember you. And we sold them.
It sounds like sacrilege, but we sold them.
Were we so poor? Old Stoneman, the grocer,
Boss-eyed, his blood-pressure purpling to beetroot
(It was his last chance,
He would die in the same great freeze as you) ,
He persuaded us. Every Spring
He always bought them, sevenpence a dozen,
‘A custom of the house’.
Besides, we still weren’t sure we wanted to own
Anything. Mainly we were hungry
To convert everything to profit.
Still nomads-still strangers
To our whole possession. The daffodils
Were incidental gilding of the deeds,
Treasure trove. They simply came,
And they kept on coming.
As if not from the sod but falling from heaven.
Our lives were still a raid on our own good luck.
We knew we’d live forever. We had not learned
What a fleeting glance of the everlasting
Daffodils are. Never identified
The nuptial flight of the rarest epherma-
Our own days!
We thought they were a windfall.
Never guessed they were a last blessing.
So we sold them. We worked at selling them
As if employed on somebody else’s
Flower-farm. You bent at it
In the rain of that April-your last April.
We bent there together, among the soft shrieks
Of their jostled stems, the wet shocks shaken
Of their girlish dance-frocks-
Fresh-opened dragonflies, wet and flimsy,
Opened too early.
We piled their frailty lights on a carpenter’s bench,
Distributed leaves among the dozens-
Buckling blade-leaves, limber, groping for air, zinc-silvered-
Propped their raw butts in bucket water,
Their oval, meaty butts,
And sold them, sevenpence a bunch-
Wind-wounds, spasms from the dark earth,
With their odourless metals,
A flamy purification of the deep grave’s stony cold
As if ice had a breath-
We sold them, to wither.
The crop thickened faster than we could thin it.
Finally, we were overwhelmed
And we lost our wedding-present scissors.
Every March since they have lifted again
Out of the same bulbs, the same
Baby-cries from the thaw,
Ballerinas too early for music, shiverers
In the draughty wings of the year.
On that same groundswell of memory, fluttering
They return to forget you stooping there
Behind the rainy curtains of a dark April,
Snipping their stems.
But somewhere your scissors remember. Wherever they are.
Here somewhere, blades wide open,
April by April
Through the sod-an anchor, a cross of rust
… is not gray, but sunny and no one broke my heart today at all – but tuesday i fall in love – this tuesday especially – five minutes at the library were quite enough and now there’s a new man in my life, a new príncipe, if you will – let’s call him príncipe bibliotecario for the moment, which will be quite sufficient – my strange fascination with guys working at libraries can only be natural for a phd candidate in literary studies, who’d rather spend her money in a bookstore than a fashion haven
and this was a special moment we shared – he took my books back and checked out the new ones, while i chatted about the incredible amount of library books which have turned into permanent lodgers at my apartment, a phenomenon i’ve known intimately ever since i became a phd student – then he asked what i did a phd in and that he’s just finishing his degree and going on to do a phd with my advisor as well – we got to talking about phds, allergies and the lovely weather and only a friend, who waited outside with my bike, could tear me away – príncipe bibliotecario has red hair – it’s like i made him up, someone interested in the same things i am, with red hair, a sweet temper and a dimpled smile – almost too good to be true and very good for me and my slightly waning crush on someone else, also working in a library – oh dear, i can see a pattern there … and let’s hope friday is quite as nice as today as well
… so you better bring spring yourself – how about some tissue paper blossoms? – easy to make and an awesome decoration for any kind of party – you could put them on a string and make a pretty garland or you could confetti them on the table – go wild and crazy and have a happy day
it is time for winter to finally give way for spring and sunshine and flowers growing everywhere – there’s a storm overhead tonight and it feels like the winter gets finally blown away – i’ve been feeling very much like a daisy lately, trying to bloom and reaching for the sun despite winter’s fierce coldness – so this is a last goodbye to winter – i love you and i’ll see you again in about eight months
so, let’s fly to the land of illusions, welcome spring and be as happy as can be – spring fever’s in the air, so definitely i am almost certain to catch it and be very much infected and considerably heart-broken in the end – but it’s worth every minute and second
yesterday was a day to celebrate for almost anyone in germany – wolfsburg is football champion – horst köhler is still president and germany turned 60 – so, berlin was one huge party, which i reluctantly attended due to my hatred of large gatherings of regardless, ignorant and hopelessly proletarian people, shoving their way through and not caring on who’s foot they step or which body they elbow – and it was good, apart from the people you always get – the large families, thinking just because they herd three small kids through the crowd, they’re allowed to push through with their bikes – the nasty smiling pretty girls who don’t seem to sweat even as the sun burns down from the sky – the drunk idiots who simply want trouble – but they weren’t many and the day was beautiful, the mood over-whelming friendly and the entertainment quite good
we got there a just as thomas gottschalk walked over the bridge between the two main stages and i got a couple of good shots – unfortunately we were far away from the stage, trying to get a good look at all the stands, when kathi witt (and other sports idols) were there – damn, i want to meet kathi witt – hero of my childhood, who’d keep me glued to the tv, when i was just three years old – https://teacaro.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/girl-skates/
then pur played some songs and it was rather nice – hm, i’d like a concert in that location every week or so – there’s nothing better than a blue sky, an amazing location and catchy sing-along tunes that everybody knows
i missed out on beethoven, but the day had wornd me out and so i made my way home and enjoyed beethoven’s 9th on tv with a cool drink and chocolate, whilepainting my toenails – that’s the way to celebrate your saturday