That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!
You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!
Waiting for a corpse to sprout. The image is an eerie one, but also extremely tragic, carrying with it the connotation of bereaved family members who have watched their young sons and brothers bloom and then die, cut off at their prime. As a gardener returns often to the spot where he has buried a seed, so a mourner returns often to the burial site of his or her loved one. There is that sense of not quite letting go, that inability to move on. Instead, a sick, twisted need remains to return to that place of heartache, as though it would be sacrilegious and petty to forget and escape from it.
The passage is almost mocking as it queries "Grown anything yet? I would've thought that with your dedication to that 'seed,' you'd have more to show for it!" On one hand, there is a desire for change, for something to happen, for life to be given back, for the corpse to sprout and bloom. Yet at the same time, there is a parallel image of it reemerging from the ground not in bloom but as the unearthed remains that comprise a dog's meal. There is the tension between a desire to try and restore what was lost and a realization that it is probably better to leave well enough alone.
I find this much more powerful than a simple expression of sadness and regret. Rather, the reader is almost implicated for daring to suggest that things be reversed—or perhaps for daring to suggest that moving on is the best course of action. He is forced to wrestle with the guilt of either side, really drawn into the conflict and the shattering of death and loss.