A Picture Of A Flower In Black And White The Wild Wood Flower – A Great American Classic, But What Does it Mean?

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The Wild Wood Flower – A Great American Classic, But What Does it Mean?

I will twine in the center of the ringlet

of my raven black hair,

Lilies so pale

And the rose is so fair.

Without a doubt, one of the most charming, intriguing, and charming of all early American folk poems and songs is The Wildwood Flower. His haunting story has captured the fascination and loyalty of thousands. A major feature of its appeal and grip is that it is a puzzle that has never been solved. Clearly, as the poem unfolds, Wildwood Flower is an angry girl, but what do the other metaphors and symbols created in this classic mean?

The heartbroken lover sits alone in the wooded valley that was once their tryst, winds a lock of her raven black hair purposefully around her fingers. That image is clear enough but then the lyrics get blurry. Are the lily flowers Glenn’s or are they a metaphor for something else? And what is the meaning of roses, myrtle and pale pink amanita with bright blue eyes? It is clear to the discerning reader or listener that something other than the literal is meant here. Amanita is a deadly poison toadstool known as the death hood. He doesn’t have bright blue eyes. And what about the rest of the song? Is it just a lament and a fantasy to try to console herself in her heartbreak and loneliness; Or is this a clever ploy to get revenge on this opportunistic swine who lost interest by compromising her?

I’m going to offer some thoughts on what this fascinating story tells me but before I do I want to share some facts about the times and circumstances in which this happened. In the isolated background of early America, opportunities for romance and fortune did not come so often. Besides, in the period in which this poem was written, a girl who had lost her virtue had very little chance of marriage and happiness with a respectable man. Lying to a young woman, telling her you love her, seducing her and then leaving her was literally a death sentence. Ultimately the hatred and revenge that springs from these numbing heartbreaks often leads to the death of the perpetrator. There are many stories that have caught on as legends from the rural settings of early America. There are Frankie and Johnny, Banks of the Ohio, Barbara Allen and many others where love and betrayal lead to the death of the criminal. Having said that, let me tell you the meaning of this elusive story.

Obviously I have no special insight and what I am about to say is nothing more than my own opinion. It is not offered to contradict anyone else’s conclusions, to invade anyone’s sanctuaries about this shocking story, or to offend anyone in any way. What is happening here is just my offering.

I will twine in the center of the ringlet

of my raven black hair,

Lilies so pale

And the rose so fair,

Myrtle is very bright

with emerald hues,

and Pale Amanita

With bright blue eyes.

A girl sits, probably together, in a forest, where she meets her lover, where she succumbs to his lies of love and marriage, and where she loses her virtue. The last line of stanza 3 reveals that she is a weak girl and not of great physical beauty, but has some charms. She has raven black hair that she is absent but aggressively twirling around her fingers. The Song of Solomon and other historical texts lay the groundwork for the assumption that the lily has her breasts. The roses are her glowing red cheeks, no longer glowing with love and excitement as in verse 2, but in this instance with anger and hurt. Myrtle is the dark green lashes over her eyes, and the pale Amanita is the ghostly white face, colorless with anger and hatred (the hood of death), from which bright blue eyes shine as if to appear in the glen before her. The scene she imagines in her mind.

2.

I’ll sing and I’ll dance,

My laugh shall be gay;

I stop this wild cry –

remove the pain,

My heart is breaking now,

He will never know

That his name makes me tremble

And my pale cheeks began to glow.

The girl has dealt with heartbreak and hurt until her tears dry. Now the desperate but futile hope that he will return to her is gone. In his place, a revenge plan is being prepared. First of all, she should stop acting like she cares. She should come to parties, throw herself into sports with abandon, woo every man she can, and make herself the talk of the town and the object of ambition. It would all be part of her plot to stay with him for what he did to her but he should never know it. He had to believe that she didn’t care about him more than he cared about her, and that he was just another to her.

3.

I would never think of it –

I’ll be very gay,

I will charm every heart,

And the crowd I will sway,

I shall live to see him,

Regret the dark hours

Marginalized when he wins,

Delicate wild wood flower.

She must put him out of her mind until the trap is ready and apply herself to her plan. She’ll let her hair down and be the life of the party. She will play lover to every man she can charm. why not What is there to lose her now? But this will be the action, not the true desire of her heart. The purpose is to make him jealous. Young people like him are selfish and selfish. There will be times when he wonders what he’s gotten away with and finally he’ll take the bait and come back to her. When he does, their rendezvous will not be the dance hall but the wild wood glen where he broke her heart and ruined her life. Her plan will succeed and he will return, but he will never leave her again. Once she brings him under the power of her charms, the hood of death will take him and take his life from him.

4.

He told me he loved me,

and promised to love,

ill and unfortunately,

All others above,

Another has conquered him;

Ah, sorrow to tell;

He left me quietly –

No words of farewell.

As the girl sits in the forest thinking about her drastic plan, she begins to rationalize. This is his fault; Not hers. He told her he loved her and she trusted him otherwise she would never have given herself to him. He talked about love and lifelong commitment and he was very convincing. He mercilessly took her life and fortune to fulfill his lust and greed. He shattered her dreams and high hopes for a husband, home, and family, and then left without saying “goodbye.”

5.

He taught me to love him,

He called me his flower

He bloomed for him

All the brighter every hour;

But I woke up from my dream,

My idol was made of clay;

My vision of love

All are erased.

An intimate marital relationship is clearly implied here. No girl needs to be “taught” how to love and feel loved. Alone, the sweet intimacy she should have had with her soulmate was given to this cheater. He told her what she wanted to hear. “She was all he wanted and lived for. She was his glorious wildflower that grew bigger and brighter every hour.”

But then that dream vanished in the harsh light of reality. It was all a lie. Her wonderful idol was nothing but a pile of dirt. He left and with him she hoped for a happy future. He had killed her and now had a plan to assimilate her. It was fair; She will do to him what he did to her.

Can this poor country girl make her plan for revenge come true? Did her wild plan have a chance to succeed? Was she another Frankie with a pistol behind her back? who knows And for description, it doesn’t matter. She is a battered, crushed, and broken-hearted country maid who has been used and cast aside; And she is trying hard to survive. She tries to find some solution for the wrong done to her. She will pay him; He has to pay. If in no other way, it all played out in front of her in the meadow today, as she sat as she had last seen him, twirling his raven black hair forcefully around his long white fingers and seeking solace in the feelings of change.

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