A popular work by asari poet Asantha Lakhesis. It was originally part of a larger collection of related poems which also have significant popularity - though not so much as this single work in the cycle. Written at an unknown date about three hundred years after the asari’s intial contact with the salarians, it wasn't published until after her death in a tragic shuttle crash.
The poem follows the flow-of-consciousness of an unnamed narrator (presumed to be Asantha herself) reflecting on the eventual demise of her non-asari partner, and the emotional devastation that will soon follow.
Despite the somewhat dark subject matter, there is also has an underlying sense of optimism. Focusing not just on her lover's impending death, but on the choice to make do with the time they have.
The poem ends with the narrator accepting this as the inevitable consequence of her feelings, and deciding to not linger on the past, while at the same time resolving not to forget her dear one and the good times they shared.
Roughly translated the poem is titled To my lover, though the word “love/lover” is made up of an unusual combination of symbols not found elsewhere in the poet’s work. It has since been suggested that she was referring to an asari practice akin to human romantic friendship, or the bonding between two or more salarians, which could only be accurately described as a platonic ‘meeting of minds’. Perhaps loosely related to the asari concept ai'a me.
While there are at least a few hundred related poems (spread over several books, holo novels, and unpublished notes in the hands of private collectors), the popularity of this poem has lead to the entire series being called the Everbloom Cycle.
While the addressee of the work – and indeed any of the other works in that cycle - was never identified in any of Asantha’s writings, it’s believed her mysterious lover was in fact a Dalatrass who lived during her lifetime. This would explain the complete lack of sensual overtones in this series of works, since she was otherwise well known to use explicit erotic imagery in poems gifted to lovers over her lifespan.
It does not, however, explain the secrecy surrounding the identity of her lover. Some historians believe that it might have been Dalatrass Tarrin, who was well-known for her isolationist policies; a publicized liaison with an outsider would have badly damaged her platform. A collection of Asantha’s poetry - some of which were never formally published, and a few in the asari's own handwriting - found after the salarian's death gives credence to the theory.
This is also hinted in the final stanza of the poem, a very, very rough translation (that inherently cannot embrace the nested meanings and complex syntax of High Thessian) which reads:
…time will pass like the tides: tireless and unrelenting / so you will fade long before (me) / but let this love be an Erinle Rose / ever-blooming, and bearing flower through all seasons.
Influences on culture
Among non-asari races, the poem is simply called “Everbloom”. This has led to the fame and preservation of a flower that would otherwise have gone extinct in quiet obscurity.
It has also lead to some particularly poetic-minded asari to refer to romances between maidens and their non-asari partners as '(an) everbloom love', which paradoxically call up images of fleeting emotion, with bittersweet and nostalgic undertones. The closest human equivalent would be the concept of a 'first love' that you never forget, or a 'summer romance'.
The Everbloom flower has since been commonly used as a symbol of transient beauty, an idea that permeates asari culture.