Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The Autumn Crocus
The autumn crocus continue to grow in a garden jumble, years after the gardener who planted them has passed away. Without her care they mix with leaves and overgrown foliage. Their pretty purple faces radiate beauty in the chaos. While searching for information about these pretty blossoms I discover that autumn crocus are very toxic but that some herbalists use it with care for the treatment of certain illnesses. Poets of old knew this too, and described a lovely venomous meadow on an autumn day.
Autumn Crocuses (Les colchiques)
The meadow is venomous but lovely in autumn
The cows graze there and are slowly poisoned
The colchicum colour of shadow and lilac
Flowers there your eyes resemble that flower
Violet shades like their shadow that autumn
And slowly your eyes empoison my life.
The children arrive from school, what a fracas,
Dressed in smocks and playing harmonicas
They gather the crocuses that are like mothers
Daughters of their daughters your eyelids' colour
That beat as the flowers beat in the wild breeze.
The herdsman sings and sings quite softly
While slowly mooing, the cows abandon
Forever this wide field flowered by autumn.