Narcissus Poeticus . . . Poet's Daffodil

The big news from our yard this past week has been that all of the daffodils have come into bloom. I love the pink daffodils especially, because they seem so rare to me. But the flower in this photo just may be my favorite of them all: Narcissus poeticus, the poet's daffodil.

The blooms make me think of dogwood. I think it's the color and shapes of the petals that remind me. The petals of the poet's daffodil are white and very thin and delicate looking; interestingly shaped, a bit bendy in unexpected spots.

At the heart of the bloom is an eye of fire: bands of yellow and green surrounded by red. That is what gives this flower one of its alternative names: pheasant's eye. I like that name too, but I can't speak to how well it resembles a pheasant's eye, exactly, because it's been years since I've encountered a pheasant in real life.

Narcissus poeticus is one of the very oldest varieties of daffodil ever cultivated by human beings. There is something I like about that too: a sense of history.

My own history with these blooms goes back only about a dozen years, when I planted them all around the back of Gremlin's Meadow. I do nothing to them or for them, except to love them and photograph them.

And every year, they keep coming up without any help from me at all. There they stand like white sentinels in the back of the meadow: silent as ghosts, beautiful as angels with eyes of fire.

The soundtrack: Tori Amos, Silent All These Years.

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