Perhaps their mummies didn’t smack them enough,

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… or take them on any nature rambles when they were small.

For reasons too complicated to go into, I need a few short poems about flowers.  But apparently, poets never actually write about flowers.  When poet meets flower, it is merely an occasion to enlarge upon feelings about love, death, war, peace etc.  Dear poets:  Shut up already.  Please.  Get over yourselves and look at a flower, why don’t you?  Because now I am going to have to write the thing myself, when I should really be going to bed.

One odd find as I googled was Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem The Flower, with a surprisingly environmentalist message in the overt meaning (and it’s fairly easy to ignore his subtext if preferred).  Himalayan balsam, do we think?

Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.

To and fro they went
Thro’ my garden-bower,
And muttering discontent
Cursed me and my flower.

Then it grew so tall
It wore a crown of light,
But thieves from o’er the wall
Stole the seed by night.

Sow’d it far and wide
By every town and tower,
Till all the people cried
`Splendid is the flower.’

Read my little fable:
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.

And some are pretty enough,
And some are poor indeed;
And now again the people
Call it but a weed.

If any passing reader happens to know of flower poems really about flowers … please tell?

a glass of cold water

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8 responses »

  1. I’ve found 3 floral-ish poems, but they are from garden books, so not sure if they are relevant enough. Robert Heath, “On Clarissa Walking in the Garden, from Clarastella (1650), Edward Lear, Postscript to a letter to Lord Carlingford (30 April 1885),and from the shaker book of gardening, Here take this Lovely Flower:
    Here take this Lovely Flower
    Thy Mother sent to thee
    Cull’d from her lovely bower
    Of true simplicity
    Oh place it in thy bosom
    And keep it pure and bright
    For in such lovely flowers
    The angels take delight.
    Hope this helps

    • Thank you for ideas – sounds promising, and I like the one you quote. I can’t find the other two you name at present – will have to head off to the library, but don’t have a very good one here so may not find them. Were they in books you have the titles of, or were they online?

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