They called me the hyacinth girl

We did some planting in our backyard this weekend (rose bushes, lilacs, a tiny tree, etc.) and some of the bulbs I planted last Fall are also in bloom now. It looks so pretty---unfinished, but pretty. :) I love the hyacinths, both the way they look and the way they smell---heavenly! And hyacinths always make me think of the lines from T.S. Eliot's* The Waste Land (and since we always want to quote "April is the cruelest month" from that, it seems only fair to remember some other lines as well):

'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
They called me the hyacinth girl.'

—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,**
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

I think that's so haunting, and beautiful. (Or is it depressing?) :) Anyway, I'm just so happy to have Spring weather, nothing seems depressing. Happy April!

*I confess I've long had a soft spot for T.S. Eliot. I suppose some find his work bleak, or think he is overrated, but I have lots of his poetry memorized, and it's some of my favorite. In fact, for my honors thesis in college, I composed three art songs using Eliot's poetry. I used the above lines for one of the songs. My cousin's wife Cheri (she's an amazing soprano--she sang with the Boston Pops at Tanglewood and is in the Tabernacle Choir now) recorded the songs with me. You may hear "Hyacinths" here, if you are so inclined: hyacinths.mp3

**I wish I had one of these. Doesn't it sound old-fashioned and romantic? I don't think my eight hyacinths would quite constitute a "hyacinth garden." But I would like to plant more.


  1. It's been a while since I posted a comment but since you are into spring planting, I thought I would suggest that if you get stuck on what to plant in an area, call or email Sandin. He does landscape design for a living you know. Always willing to give suggestions to family for free. I love your hyacinths.

  2. I know I'm an overactive commenter, but I must. Jordan and I had a long discussion about T.S. Eliot on our way home from your place. I'm on your side. These lines are definitely beautiful and haunting.

  3. I almost forgot. Thanks for the music. I was inclined to listen, and I had a lovely time.

  4. I try to be certain that I always "dare disturb the universe."

  5. You and me and T.S. Eliot reminds me of seeing Cats together in London. I cried seeing it (cool dancing, right?) even though I had little idea what was going on. storyline?!?
    Also, my neighbor went to see Wicked last weekend and I felt that instead of her and her husband going, you and I should have shown our student passes at the will call window and gotten third row seats for ten pounds.
    But this post reveals how cosmopolitan you are. Memorized lines? Honors thesis? Composed songs? Recorded?
    I was there at your house for the private/neighborhood recital. All these old dudes come to hear their favorite player. So impressive! And Cheri, the singer, made me wish I liked opera.
    Why are you friends with me, again? I eat beef jerky and ride a 4-wheeler. I buy hot dogs from the snack bar at Reams and wear a tube top to mow my lawn. Not really, but I feel like such a low-class hick in comparison to you, sometimes. But I like lookin' in yer window down to the fancy-life, so keep posting.

  6. They never look real to me. So fulsome and solid, it seems they must have sprung, full blown, out of some wax sculpture machine. But that wouldn't account for the smell, would it? And I'm with Chelsea - disturbing the universe, is, I would think, our job.

    Some of Eliot I've liked. And a little of Shelly (I burst joy's grape upon my tongue), but I am not much of a poetry person. I used to love e e cummings and Gerard Manly Hopkins, but I think I am too much with horses to dally in suggestion of emotion.

  7. I bet you really do wear a tube top to mow your lawn, Beth. But you were the one to introduce me to:
    1. Thai cooking (pineapple curry, carrot-ginger soup)
    2. Tortilla soup
    3. Cafe Rio
    4. Make-up
    5. Simon and Garfunkel (yes, really)
    6. Quilting

    Sounds like a true cosmopolitan to me!
    P.S. Remember when Reams used to have 10-cent hot dogs near the 4th of July? Our family never missed it. Mmm boy.

    Also, K, I laughed at "I think I am too much with horses to dally in suggestion of emotion." That should probably apply to being constantly with school- and preschool-aged boys as well, shouldn't it? :)

  8. I thought I saw Cheri during Conference--I just wasn't sure how I recognized her! COol
    You are my hyacinth girl--even though you didn't get picked!
    i love that you chose this to post on--I was just trying to quote the line to Crystal the other day and was useless at it. I told her i wished I had your brain for a moment...actually, I have wished for htat many times! (I can'et even spell, much less memorize T.S (you don't know how many tries that took)). So, iloveyou. heh heh

  9. Can I come live in your backyard?

  10. Ginna, I wish you would. You could seranade us with saxophone music every night, and Max could live under a mushroom, like a gnome. Or is that elves?


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