The Narcissus (Daffodil)

A Narcissus in a field of Narcissuses in Fort Tryon Park, NYC, facing east in the early dawn April, 11, 2017

The earliest attested reference to the Narcissus relates it not to the well known Greek myth about the self obsessed boy looking at his reflection in the water, but to the myth(s) of Demeter and Persephone and hence to its now well known pharmacological effects that, depending on (a) the part(s) used, (b) dosage and (c) means of administration (topical vs. oral), can be therapeutically sedative/narcotic (the word ‘narcotic’ is etymologically related to Narcissus) or simply poisonous (it has been associated with suicide).

Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus:

Greek text (lines 681–4):

Translation (from a recent book published by Oxford University Press):

My translation, based in part on recent etymological and archaeological research:

Bathed in heavenly dew,
Beautifully gathering itself together with others, day by day, for ever and ever,The Narcissus: the primeval garlandOf the Great Goddesses Of Nature’s Cycle: The Sun (Persephone) & Earth (Demeter)

H.S. Versnel on Demeter (from his book Inconsistencies), effectively supporting the much discussed etymology of her name as being related to ‘Mother’ = earth goddess:

Detailed summary of scholarship on the name Persephone (often referred to simply as kore = young (unmarried, aka virgin) girl); from R. Anttila, Greek and Indo-European Etymology In Action:

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