Poore floure (quoth she) this was thy fathers guise,*
Sweet issue of a more sweet smelling sire,
For euerie little griefe to wet his eies,
To grow vnto himselfe was his desire;
And so tis thine, but know it is as good,
To wither in my brest, as in his blood.
William Shakepeare, Venus and Adonis, 1593
Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were aDifficult (at least for me) to think that the phrasing is just coincidence.
flower? when did you look at your skin and decide
you were an impotent dirty old locomotive? the
ghost of a locomotive? the specter and shade of a
once powerful mad American locomotive?
Allen Ginsberg, “Sunflower Sutra,” 1955
Both poems may be found online.
October 30: I’m surprised that some readers (elsewhere) have taken the echo to be a question of whether one poet is “ripping off” or ”stealing” from another. Good grief. It’s an echo, a small element in a poem whose precursor is another poem about a flower, William Blake’s “Ah! Sun-flower.”