I'm looking for an elegy-style poem in which the narrator recounts ignoring the beautiful flowers around them, instead attending to a single flower that had yet to bloom. They thought this one flower would grow to become more spectacular than the rest, but it instead shriveled and died, causing the narrator great dismay.

I can't recall the exact format, but it was most likely a prose poem of a couple hundred words. The style seemed to be of European origin in the 19th or 20th century. I read this a couple weeks ago on a literature exam; the question that used this passage was scheduled to be released, but has not been to the best of my knowledge.

Some poems I ruled out are "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard", "Elegy IX: The Autumnal", and "Elegy Before Death". I've tried searching for various combinations of "elegy", "flower", "eulogy", etc. to no avail. I've tried everywhere I could think of, but this particular piece eludes me. Any help would be fantastic.

  • 1
    Welcome to Literature Stack Exchange, take our tour! Can you give an approximate time period when you would have read this poem? Was it published alongside other poems (e.g. in a collection?) See the identification-request wiki for more kinds of useful information you could edit into your question. Every bit may help those trying to identify the poem. – bobble May 29 at 21:27
  • Thank you - I've updated the question with some more information that might be useful. – Alex May 30 at 2:52
  • Thank you for the update! Was this the AP Literature exam, by any chance? If so, I took it too, though it seems I got a different form, as I don't remember this poem – bobble May 30 at 3:01
  • It was, although I'm not sure if the FRQs from the one I got were posted in the same place as the others ... I also considered the possibility that the piece was written specifically for that exam, though this seemed pretty unlikely. – Alex May 30 at 4:09
  • If no one can find the poem, waiting long enough and then asking your Literature teacher may work - College Board released the 2020 online-exam questions into the AP Classroom Question Bank, a free database which is searchable by teachers. – bobble May 30 at 4:23

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