By Francis Thompson (1859-1907)
SUMMER set lip to earth’s bosom bare,
And left the flush’d print in a poppy there;
Like a yawn of fire from the grass it came,
And the fanning wind puff’d it to flapping flame.
With burnt mouth red like a lion’s it drank
The blood of the sun as he slaughter’d sank,
And dipp’d its cup in the purpurate shine
When the eastern conduits ran with wine.
Till it grew lethargied with fierce bliss,
And hot as a swinked gipsy is,
And drowsed in sleepy savageries,
With mouth wide a-pout for a sultry kiss.
Pretty erotic stuff for nineteenth century poetry. Oh, yeah, it’s about a flower. Right. To read the rest of the poem, go here.
I was inspired by the red poppies I found at Monticello. All around the grounds at Thomas Jefferson’s estate, I felt honored to be there. So much history and innovation. So many lives lived out upon this plantation; unfortunately, enslaved and free.
Just from a gardening standpoint, I now realize Jefferson inspired me as a teen when I first visited. Here is the vegetable garden.
Below is the view Jefferson saw every morning. Pretty good isn’t it?
The flower garden was in almost a horseshoe shape outside the back door of the house. Horminum sage is the predominant blue in the center There was also blue flax, mallow, poppies, peonies and delphiniums. It was very pretty. I bought some columbine seeds.
Digitalis spikes. In Oklahoma, we must grow this in the shade or early a.m. sun and water the dickens out of it.
That’s all I have for now. I am still working on the surprise. No peeking.
For more musing, please visit Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.