Now, I am the Sunflower

I saw him once,
He was riding his ivory gold chariot,
From East to West.
He would end his journey at the far sea.
And everyday would come back home on his golden boat.
Love and admiration showered upon him endlessly.
He is known for spreading love and life.
But I could only see his youthful manly beauty.
His golden hair flashed upon me
Like a golden sunray beaming in the air.
He was the most handsome one
I have ever known?
I fell in love with him without reasons and thoughts.
With unblinking eyes, I would watch him all day long,
As he moved across the horizon,
Hoping and hoping, he would offer a glance at me.
Everyday again, and again.
Not to be noticed,only to be ignored.
Only to hold unrequited love, never to be reciprocated. So, I continue to watch him as he passes through the boundless blue.
Alas! In all vain.
I was told he loves another.
But he could not have his love,
Heartbroken, he made her laurel.
She was his love of life.
How could he love someone like me?
how can he offer his love when his heart is torn apart?
I pinned away and sat on a rock where I could watch him,
For nine days, without food and water,
I still stared at him forlornly as he passed around the earth from day to night.
Even today I keep looking at him from the moment he rises until he sets.
And I always face him over the course of the day.
I still gaze at him with love and melancholy.
Sadness transformed me into a beautiful golden hue just like golden sun rays.
I am a sheer delight to everyone
But not to him.
In silence, I pine in pain.
Yet I gaze at him till eternity.
I Was Clytie,
She was Daphne,
He was and is Apollo,
Now I am the Sunflower.

Note: This prose style poem is based on the Greek Myth of the Sunflower myth and myth of Daphne. The reference is Introduction to Mythology by Edith Hamilton.

Commentary: There are three major myths regarding the Sunflower. (1) Clytie gradually metamorphized into the Sunflower while gazing at the Sun. (2) Gods out of pity turned her into a Sunflower to put to an end to her sadness (3) Clytie was bitterly jealous of Leucothoe whom Apollo Loved. Clytie disclosed the secret love affair to Leucothoe father. And then He killed Leucothoe. Apollo hated Clytie. She wasted away into misery before turning into a flower. Bringing Daphne in the poem is my own poetic imagination. I wanted to show Apollo’s failure in love. Sunflower myth is interpreted in spiritual way. Interpreted as loyalty, truth and faithfulness. But I in my poem the Sunflower remembers her eternal quest of love, what she was and the love of Apollo. Her understanding of Apollo’s rejection. The poem shows with clarity the physical attraction of Clytie transforms into a platonic one. The narrator of the poem reveals her, Daphne and Apollo’s identity at the end of the bottom with dramatic suspense. The poem is about the attraction then transformation of platonic love. I have used narrative story telling technique in the poem . I have gone through different versions of Sunflower myths while writing this poem. So some references and imagery may sound familiar. It is not intentional. This is an experimental work. I have read various versions of Sunflower including Edith Hamilton. Some expressions, imagery may sound familiar which is not intentional. This is experimental work.

– Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein

Tabassum Tahmina Shagufta Hussein lives in Dhaka Bangladesh. She is a MA holder in British&American Literature. Now a Free-lance writer pursuing Masters in Human Resources. Her poems published in Our Poetry Archive Anthology Spiritual Poetry Beyond Borders, The Pangolin Review, A Poem A Day @poetrypotion, Rose Quartz Magazine, Ink and Sword Magazine. She can be reached