Summer for thee grant I may be
When summer days are flown!
Thy music still when whippoorwill
And oriole are done!
For thee to bloom, I’ll skip the tomb
And sow my blossoms o’er!
Pray gather me, Anemone,
Thy flower forevermore!
Emily Dickinson – Poems (1858)
In this poem Emily Dickinson claims that love can do anything. Even death becomes nothing, because the power of love makes the beloved no longer dependent on the seasons for blossoms and bird song. Here Dickinson personifies herself as an anemone, the colourful flower which is the first to bloom when the ground is still covered with snow, very valuable because of this.
Therefore, the anemone, herald of spring, represents a triumph over death.
In the Victorian language of flowers, the anemone was associated with fragility, loyalty and love.
Anemones are also called “wind flowers” as the name derives from the Greek term anemos, meaning winds.
In mythology, Anemone (“daughter of the wind”) was a beautiful nymph who fell in love with the wind god Zephyr, but when his wife, Chloris (or Flora) found out, she banished the nymph from their court and turned her into a flower. Zephyr then lost interest in her but another wind god, Boreas, fell in love with her in her flower form. However, Anemone wasn’t interested, and so every spring he angrily blows and fades her petals prematurely, before the arrival of Zephyr.
A different myth is found in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, where we learn that the plant was created by the goddess Venus when she wept over the body of her lover Adonis as he lay bleeding to death from a wild boar wound. According to Ovid its etymology refers to the frailty of the petals that can be easily blown away by the wind.
Concedimi di essere per te l’estate
quando le giornate estive voleranno via!
La tua musica quando la nottola
e l’oriolo taceranno!
Per sbocciare per te, sfuggirò alla tomba
e sopra vi spargerò i miei fiori!
Ti prego, raccoglimi, Anemone,
tuo fiore per l’eternità!