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Postcard 7: Daffodil

mcsweeney's picture

            This postcard is based on the last poem of our group’s book, which shares its title with the title of Camille Dungy’s entire collection, What to Eat, What to Drink, and What to Leave for Poison. On the surface, this poem has a lot to do with the coming of spring and Dungy brings up the names of many flowering plants and trees. One flower that comes up a few times throughout the poem is the daffodil, and one line that particularly struck me and inspired this postcard was “Glee is the body of the daffodil / reaching tubed fingers through the day, feeling / her own trumpeted passion choiring air / with hot, colored song.” There were a number of connections with our class that I thought of when I read this line. First off, the use of the word “body” was interesting to me because it reminded me of how holistic education is concerned with the whole body of a student, which was something we discussed in the first few classes. Also, this line made me wonder about how a person can embody the emotion of happiness, like the daffodil described in this poem. What was it about the daffodil that made the poet think “glee”? The line about “reaching tubed fingers through the day” reminded me of our discussion of rhizomes, and how they grow reaching into the ground. The rhizomes expand into the soil, rooting deeper, whereas the daffodils reach up towards the sun and the sky. Both plants thrive, but they grow in different directions. I thought that the next part of the line, about the daffodil “feeling her own trumpeted passion” was a really beautiful play on the shape of the flower and how it seems to be sharing its joy with the world through its bright colors and form. Overall, the way that the flower was personified in this line from the poem reminded me of a lot of discussions we had in class and the way the flower embodied a certain kind of joy and passion made me think about the way humans can embody such joy and passion in learning. 

(Sorry that the image is on it's side...I couldn't figure out how to rotate it...)