Different Meanings of Daffodil in Chinese and Western Culture


When comes to narcissus also commonly known as "Daffodils", one thing should be mentioned is the poem - I Wandered Lonely as A Cloud written by William Wordsworth.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

The plot of this poem is simple. Wordsworth described it as "rather an elementary feeling and simple impression (approaching to the nature of an ocular spectrum) upon the imaginative faculty, rather than an exertion of it."  After appreciating the western daffodils, now let’s enjoy the narcissus come from the oriental country. In Chinese, the flower is believed to have supernatural power in the Chinese cultural beliefs. The flower is used for religious practices and purposes like to cast off the evil spirits and for exorcism. The narcissus flower is believed to bring forth hidden talent and should, therefore, be bestowed upon someone who is looking for career advancement.

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