2 of 2 “Daffodils” by Ted Huges

 Ted Hughes addresses Sylvia Plath directly in this poem, in a conversational manner, which calls to mind
 
 
 
**** an image             of an old man           leafing through an album            with a ghost     ****.

 
A sense of nostalgia pervades the poem, especially in the first two lines: 

Remember how we picked the daffodils?…

 
 
 
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 for ever. We had not learned
What a fleeting glance of the everlasting
Daffodils are. Never identified
The nuptial flight of the rarest ephemera –
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
Sinking deeper
Through the sod – an anchor, a cross of rust.

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About mountiangirl

" Remembering the Past, celebrating the Present and believing in the Future. ∞ The scribbled notes,poems,poetry of our lives." I am a FREE SPIRIT, Mostly known as Mombo " The Mystery Woman " and a rare few call me " Mountian Girl " which they say is an honor and royality. Jerry Garcia - The Greatful Dead - I am a Fiber Artist - Spinning, Weaving and knitting. I am shy and speak little - this is where my PC talks for me. I love music but not rap. But my true love's are humor, old letters,poetry and history of all things forgotten. But also so that the younger generation can read of it too ( gain knowledge ) be it never known or just forgot. There is so much even I don't remember at my ripe young age of 51.
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