Sunflowers, the famous 1888 painting by Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, 1888

Ah, Sunflower

Ah, sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done.

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

      —William Blake

(There is more of William Blake’s poetry in the 101 Bananas Bag Full of Poems)

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The Sun Flower, our own Soul Desire, the root-trapped in earth turns to the source of Desire, the Sun of Death, “where the travellers journey is done.” Youth’s and Virgin’s desire are unsatisfied unsatisfiable mortal forms not only Immortal Union in the Golden Clime where the Sun goes at Night. The Sun flower, rooted in earth, alive, can only turn longingly to follow the sun’s path beyond life itself.

       —Allen Ginsberg, quoted in Sparks of Fire: Blake in a New Age,
           edited by James Bogan and Fred Goss.