‘The First Dandelion’ by Walt Whitman

Whitman’s poem featured in this post is a very short one, originally published in the Herald newspaper on 12th March 1888. It just so happened that immediately after its publication, a major blizzard hit the state of New York, which made the poet’s timing rather unfortunate, and the subject of many jokes.

It reminded me of a similar beginning of spring we’ve had over here in my neck of the woods this year: within days of the official arrival of spring, we suddenly had subzero temperatures and plenty of snow. It didn’t last long, though, and the meadows are already full of spring wildflowers—including dandelions!

Simple and fresh and fair from winter's close
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics,
     had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter'd grass—
     innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring's first dandelion shows its trustful

How did you like this poem? Are there any other flowers that you associate with the arrival of spring? Tell us about it in the comments section below!


Match the following words with their definitions / synonyms:

CLOSE   |   EMERGE   |   ARTIFICE   |   FORTH   |   NOOK   |   DAWN 

  • onward, forward
  • to appear, become visible
  • daybreak, sunrise
  • an enclosed area; a narrow passage
  • a trick or deception
  • a small, hidden place; a corner

To check your answers, click here.


‘A Glimpse’ by Walt Whitman

How to interpret a poem (with a little help from Walt Whitman)

Walt Whitman board on the Grammaticus Pinterest page

Cover photo by Natalia Luchanko on Unsplash.

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