The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

TrungstXVI

Senior Member
Vietnam
"The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose"
<-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->

Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

What does the author mean when he wrote "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower"?
What does the word "drives" mean in this case?
Thanks!


 
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  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I suppose it refers to a life force that makes (drives) the flowers grow, or that rather compels (drives) them to grow. It is like the electricity that powers (drives) an engine. That electrical power travels through a green (natural, ecological) fuse.

    I am not so sure about the fuse. Fuses serve to make an electrical system safer, but they are a weak point in the system, and can make it fail, and can go off with an alarming bang. The "fuse" is also the route by which fire is transmitted to an explosive device ...
     
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    TrungstXVI

    Senior Member
    Vietnam
    I suppose it refers to a life force that makes (drives) the flowers grow, or that rather compels (drives) them to grow. It is like the electricity that powers (drives) an engine. That electrical power travels through a green (natural, ecological) fuse.

    I am not so sure about the metaphor of the fuse. Fuses serve to make a system safer, but they are a weak point in the system, and can make it fail, and can go off with an alarming bang...
    Thank you! I think "green fuse" = "stem" :)
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think the fuse here is the sort of fuse that sets off an explosion (rather than safeguards against one) - like the fuse in cartoon bombs. The explosion is presumably the colourful exuberance of the flower which appears at the end of the stem.
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes, the poet sees the flower as being driven or pushed through the stem to explode into view in the Spring. This is a metaphor for the powerful life force in Nature which he feels as the same energy of youth and desire within himself.

    (Dylan Thomas is not always that clear and easy to parse, but this is one of his more accessible poems)
     
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