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

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


I’m going to wire ‘mid the ringlets

Of my raven black hair,

The lilies so light

And the roses so truthful.

With out argument one of the crucial captivating, intriguing, and charming of all early American people poems and songs is The Wildwood Flower. Its haunting story has arrested the fascination and loyalty of untold hundreds. A significant function of its fascination and holding-power lies in the truth that this can be a riddle that hasn’t ever been solved. Obviously, because the poem unfolds, the Wildwood Flower is a jilted woman, however what’s the which means of the opposite metaphors and logos constructed into this vintage? 

Because the heartbroken lover sits on my own within the wooded vale that used to be as soon as their trysting position, she winds the locks of her raven black hair purposefully round her hands. That symbol is apparent sufficient however then the lyric turns into imprecise. Are the lilies vegetation of the glen or are they a metaphor for one thing else? And what are the meanings of the roses, the myrtle, and the light amanita with brilliant blue eyes? To the discerning reader or listener is clear that one thing rather then the literal is meant right here. The amanita is a dangerous poison toadstool referred to as the Demise Hood. It does now not have brilliant blue eyes. And what may also be stated about the remainder of the lyric? Is it merely a lament and a fable to check out to convenience herself in her heartbreak and loneliness; or is it the revelation of a suave plot to take revenge in this opportunistic swain who has compromised her after which misplaced passion?

I’m going to provide some ideas as to what this attention-grabbing story says to me however earlier than I do I wish to preface it with some realities in regards to the occasions wherein this came about, and all these eventualities. Within the lonely backwoods of early The us alternatives for love and a long term didn’t come round that ceaselessly. Beside that, within the occasions wherein this poem used to be written, a woman who had misplaced her distinctive feature had a a great deal lowered probability of discovering marriage and happiness with a good guy. Mendacity to a tender lady, telling her you really liked her, seducing her, after which going off and leaving her used to be just about a demise sentence. The hatred and vengeance that finally emerged from those numbing heartbreaks ceaselessly resulted within the demise of the perpetrator. There are lots of such tales that experience stuck on as legends from the agricultural settings of early The us. There may be Frankie and Johnny, the Banks of the Ohio, Barbara Allen, and plenty of others the place jilted love and betrayal resulted within the demise of the wrongdoer. That having stated, I want to provide you with my model of the which means of this elusive story. 

It’s obtrusive that I possess no particular insights and what I’m going to mention is not anything greater than my very own opinion. It isn’t introduced to contradict the conclusions of somebody else, to intervene into the sanctuary that can had been constructed up in somebody’s thoughts about this haunting tale, or to in anyway offend somebody. It is only my providing as to what’s happening right here.

I’m going to wire ‘mid the ringlets

Of my raven black hair,

The lilies so light

And the roses so truthful,

The myrtle so brilliant

With an emerald hue,

And the light amanita

With eyes of brilliant blue.  

A woman is sitting, almost certainly within the all-together, in a wooded glen the place she used to satisfy together with her lover, the place she succumbed to his lies of affection and marriage, and the place she misplaced her distinctive feature. The ultimate line of verse 3 finds that she is a frail woman and now not a super bodily good looks, however she has some charms. She has raven black hair which she is absently however aggressively twisting round her hands. The Music of Solomon and different historical literature lay the root for inferring that lilies are her breasts. The roses are her sparkling pink cheeks, now not sparkling now as a result of love and pleasure as in verse 2, however on this example burning with anger and harm. The myrtle is the darkish inexperienced lashes over her eyes and the light amanita is the ghostly white face, colorless with rage and hatred (the demise hood), out of which brilliant blue eyes are blazing as though to make seem earlier than her now within the glen the scene that she is envisioning in her thoughts.


I’m going to sing and I’m going to dance,  

My snicker will likely be homosexual;  

I’m going to stop this wild weeping – 

Pressure sorrow away,  

Tho’ my middle is now breaking,  

He by no means shall know  

That his title made me tremble  

And my light cheeks to glow.  

The woman has struggled with heartbreak and harm till her tears are dry. Now the determined however futile hope that he’ll go back to her has light. Instead a plan for revenge has begun to shape. To begin with she should prevent performing as though she cares. She should come to the celebration, throw herself with abandonment into the sport, allure each guy whom she will, and make herself an merchandise of dialogue and an object of ambition. All of this might be part of her plot to get even with him for what he has completed to her however he should by no means realize it. He should be made to consider that she cared not more about him than he did about her and that he used to be simply some other of her flings.


I’m going to call to mind him by no means –

I’m going to be wildly homosexual,  

I’m going to allure ev’ry middle,  

And the group I will be able to sway,  

I’m going to reside but to peer him,  

Feel sorry about the darkish hour  

When he gained, then ignored,  

The frail wildwood flower.  

Till the lure is able to spring she should put him out of her thoughts and practice herself to her plan. She’s going to let her hair down and be the lifetime of the celebration. She’s going to play the sweetheart to each guy whom she will allure. Why now not? What’s there for her to lose now? However this might be an act, now not the actual needs of her middle. The aim is to make him jealous. Such younger males as he are egocentric and possessive. The time will come when he’ll start to surprise what he has walked clear of and he’ll in the end take the bait and are available again to her. When he does, their assembly position is probably not the dance corridor however once more the wild picket glen the place he broke her middle and ruined her existence. Her plan will prevail and he’ll come again, however he’ll by no means go away her once more. As soon as she has him within the continual of her charms the demise hood will engulf him and take his existence from him.


He informed me he beloved me,  

And promis’d to like,  

Trough unwell and misfortune,  

All others above,  

Any other has gained him;  

Ah, distress to inform;  

He left me in silence –

no phrase of farewell.  

As the woman sits within the wild picket and contemplates her drastic scheme, she starts to rationalize. It’s his fault; now not hers. He informed her beloved her and he or she believed him or she would by no means have given herself away to him. He spoke of affection and lifetime dedication and he used to be so convincing. He callously took her existence and long term to meet his lust and greed. He shattered her desires and grand hopes for husband, house, and circle of relatives, after which walked away with out such a lot as a “good-bye.”


He taught me to like him,  

He name’d me his flower  

That blossom’d for him  

The entire brighter every hour;  

However I woke from my dreaming,  

My idol used to be clay;  

My visions of affection  

Have all light away.  

Obviously an intimate conjugal courting is indicated right here. No woman must be “taught” the way to have emotions of affection and endearment. The candy intimacy that should have belonged to her soul mate on my own used to be given to this deceiver. He informed her the issues she sought after to listen to. “She used to be what he had all the time sought after and what he lived for. She used to be his superb wildwood flower that saved opening out its blossom larger and brighter every hour.”

However then the dream vanished within the harsh mild of truth. It used to be all a lie. Her marvelous idol used to be not anything extra {that a} pile of filth. He used to be long gone, and with him her hopes for a cheerful long term. He had killed her, and now she had a plot to get even. It used to be justified; what he had completed to her, she would do to him.

May this frail nation woman in reality perform her plan for vengeance? Did her wild scheme have an opportunity of luck? Used to be she some other Frankie with a pistol at the back of her again?  Who is aware of? And for the narrative, it does now not subject. She is a beaten, jilted, and heartbroken nation maid who has been used and solid apart; and he or she is making an attempt desperately to live to tell the tale. She seeks to search out some pleasure for the mistaken that has been completed her. She’s going to make him pay; he has to pay. If in no opposite direction, it has all performed out earlier than her within the meadow at the moment whilst she sits as she used to be when she noticed him ultimate, twists her raven black hair forcefully round he lengthy white hands, and seeks comfort in emotions of revenge.