What Is The Name Of The Flower Of The Dead Dances With the Daffodils

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Dances With the Daffodils

My neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard University, is used to the most splendid regalia, dresses, flags, pennants; they all catch the eye and remind us that all our splendor is of the ancient type and all ours. Even so, we pay particular attention when the daffodils parade by, dressed in vibrant shades of yellow that were once reserved only for the Chinese emperor. They are always sharp, chic, dramatic,

their presence is announced by its central trumpet, from which one expects the least Handel or Purcell and would not be at all surprised to hear them, sharp, regal, ceremonial. Narcissus seems to be made for it.

For the past few days, in the house chained by a cold, I have been impatiently watching the progress of the landscaping, the persistent growth of the stems, the bulging stems on which very soon the yellow trumpet will emerge to occupy every view.

There is excitement in the air.

I can feel it and I’m glad to see these gentlemen daffodils working hard… because they only come once a year and stay so short. They are right to call me and remind me that their time is coming and that I must be ready; ready to watch, enjoy, enjoy, their time brilliant, unforgettable, but always too short.

He was named after the most beautiful boy in the world.

Daffodil is the common English name for this elegant flower. But that’s not his real name. Like carefully treading nobles in our democratic days, narcissists have a sense of when to use their common name, while never forgetting their true origins. They are actually Narcissus, the botanical name for a genus of mostly hardy spring-flowering bulbs in the Amaryllis family, native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. The publication “Daffodils for North American Gardens” lists between 50 and 100 wild species.

The story of Narcissus comes from Greek mythology. There, a lovely youth of unsurpassed beauty became so obsessed with his own stunning views that, looking at himself in a pool of water, he fell into it and drowned. In some versions of the myth, the young man died of hunger and thirst because he could not bring himself to do anything but marvel at himself.

We all know such people. . . but the gods did not celebrate their charming looks and folly as they did Narcissus by marking the spot where he lay with the stunning Narcissus plant.

Narcissus, wary, sensitive to Narcissus’ stupidity, tell this story (and their true identity) only to uncritical admirers; they are just “narcissists” to everyone else. I’m such a die-hard fan, sensitive; so they shared with me, discreetly but proudly. It is rare, they say, for the gods from Olympus to mark him like that, and so it is.


As any narcissist will attest, their appearance is beautiful, “stunning.” It contains a central trumpet-, bowl-, or disc-shaped corolla surrounded by a ring of six floral bracts called the perianth, which are joined into a tube at the anterior margin of the 3-lobed ovary. The seeds are black, round and swollen with a hard shell. The three outer segments are petals and the three inner segments are petals.

Of course, while every narcissist knows exactly these facts (and many others), they understand that you may not be of a botanical bent of mind. Therefore, they only ask you for one thing: unconditional admiration. It seems that little is needed for such an opulence of color and joy. If you object, it is not out of place to remind that all daffodil varieties contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, mostly in the bulb, but also in the leaves. A hint of it usually prompts a backhanded compliment. Narcissists are used to lavish compliments and are not out of place to remind you if yours turns out to be insufficient. It is often like that with the abundantly, extravagantly, dazzlingly beautiful, constantly praised. . . they must maintain their high standards, making sure we adhere to them. We worship them unconditionally; they shower us with the blessing of their beauty. We are glad to do so; such beauty is rare and disappears too soon.

The love affair of a narcissist and a poet.

Poets, for whom a beautiful thing is eternal joy, have only to see a field of daffodils that will wax, well, poetically. In 1807 William Wordsworth published in “Poems in Two Volumes”, the words he first wrote in 1807.

Every narcissist knows, and happily, these magnificent words of beauty, optimism and satisfaction:

“I wandered as lonely as a cloud

Which floats high above valleys and hills,

When I suddenly saw a crowd

A multitude of dancing daffodils;

By the lake, under the trees,

Ten thousand dance in the breeze.

The waves danced beside them, but they

Surpassed the foaming waves in joy: —

The poet could not help but be a homosexual

In such a smiling company:

I looked — and looked — but thought little

What wealth the show brought me:

Often when I’m lying on the couch

In an empty or pensive mood,

They flash on that inner eye

What is the bliss of solitude,

And then my heart fills with pleasure,

And dances with the Daffodils. “

And other poets, and those with hopeful poetic tendencies, presented narcissus with their own efforts.

Amy Lowell (died 1925) was not as polished and elegant as narcissists like; her words were heavy in a Victorian way.

For an early narcissist. . .

“Although the trumpeter of the sluggish spring is yellow!

You harbinger of countless flowers of rich summer. . . “

It’s not their favorite song. . . but they respect

in spite of the poet. She meant well.

They prefer Robert Herrick (died 1674) to Daffodils

“Beautiful daffodils, we cry to see

You are in such a hurry. . . “

Herrick can make them timid and sentimental. So soon dead, they prefer such ideas — and tributes — to be private. Always close to the surface of their beauty is the reality of death and premature oblivion.

EE Cummings (died 1962) “in time of daffodils” is a poem of statement and purpose. Keeps them focused:

“in the time of narcissists (who knows

the goal of life is to grow)

forgetting why, remember how”

They cherish their history and all the poets who spread it and burn it.

Yet on any day of their all-too-short annual stay, this is what they like best; “April Showers” sung by Al Jolson (1921).

“And where you see clouds on the hills, you’ll soon see bunches of daffodils.”

And always,

“and the daffodils looked lovely today

It looked nice. ” (From “Lamentation of Narcissus” by Cranberries, 2002)

Indeed they are.

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