And So, The Crocus Come


Crocus, almost like blades of grass, making their way toward the world.

My Crocus are pushing themselves up out of the ground. I’m hovering over, watching their every move. I told my husband, as we planted our fall bulbs, This is like giving gifts to ourselves now, we will receive in spring.

When you give a gift ahead of time, and let it go, you don’t know what circumstances will surround the recipient when it arrives. How can you? I wondered, as we planted, What will pass in our lives before the crocus emerge? Will there be trials and tragedies? Huge shifts of life? Or, will so little change that we barely see the separation from then to now?

At this point, I can answer it–I can barely see the separation from then to now. If you told me we planted them a week ago, I would not be surprised, even though I know they were planted last October. That must be a good thing.

I’ve written here, at The Garden, about the Crocus in poetry and symbol even when I didn’t have Crocus in my own garden. Through poetry I learned that the air can be heavy with the odor of crocuses and that there can be drifts of crocuses in the damp grass.

If you want to learn about the Crocus through poetry, please click on this link to last year’s blog post where I compiled all the poems about Crocus I could find, two of which are by Miss Emily Dickinson. There’s also a link to another post, the Crocus post for the year before that.

For 2011, the meaning of the Crocus, for me, is the gift we give without knowing what will come of it. Basically, the gift we lift up to the world and release. It’s investing in the future not knowing what that future will hold, yet looking ahead with hope.

Two Worlds
by Raymond Carver

In air heavy
with odor of crocuses,

sensual smell of crocuses,
I watch a lemon sun disappear,

a sea change blue
to olive black.

I watch lightning leap from Asia as
sleeping.

my love stirs and breathes and
sleeps again,

part of this world and yet
part of that.

Since we’re also looking at “form” this year. I want to include an analysis of this poem by Wendy Bishop:

“In the Poem ‘Two Worlds,’ Raymond Carver uses repetition vertically down the poem’s stanzas, repeating the word “crocuses.” Even though no other exact words repeat across the first three stanzas, the s and c alliteration does: crocuses, sensual smell, sea, crocuses and change. He links stanzas 4 and 5 with ‘sleeping’ and ‘sleep’ and stanzas 5 and 6 with repetition of the word ‘part.’ The s sounds continue in the last three stanzas: Asia as, sleeping, stirs, breathes and sleeps. The t sounds links together the lines of the final couplet, creating a sense of closure with ‘this and ‘that.’ Although this is a couplet poem, the sounds and repeated words ring down the lines randomly but satisfyingly. The poet is playing by ear–but with a highly trained ear.” Wendy Bishop, Thirteen Ways of Looking for a Poem: a Guide to Writing Poetry

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3 responses to “And So, The Crocus Come

  1. Yay for the crocuses. I’ve seen some coming up in the neighborhood here too. I’ve never planted bulbs, but my daughter just bought some in a school fundraiser. She bought hanging begonia bulbs? Have you ever heard of these, and any planting advice?

  2. emilydickinsonsgarden

    Yes, I’ve heard of them, but never planted any from bulbs. I believe they’re like Dahlias and not cold-hardy. If I were you, I’d start them inside in whatever pot you’re going to grow them in (since they’re cascading), use good soil that has peat moss mixed in, and wait until it warms up to move them outside. I really would give them an early start though since you’re starting form the bulbs. And, like Dahlias, you should dig up the bulb (or move it inside) in the fall, pack them in peat, store them in a root cellar (or something similar) then pull them back out every year. FUN!! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. Begonias are gorgeous!!

  3. Thanks, we’ll let you know how the begonias do 🙂

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