Corner Iris Picture

Iris Poetry


Thou are the Iris, fair among the fairest
Who, armed with golden rod
And winged with the celestial azure,bearest
The message of some god.

Thou are the Muse, who far from crowded cities
Hauntest the sylvan streams,
Playing on pipes of reed the artless ditties
That come to us as dreams.

O flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
Linger to kiss thy feet!
O flower of song, bloom on, and make for ever
The world more fair and sweet.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfelllow

The Pollen Dauber's Lament

How doth the blasted little busy bee
Improve each (from her viewpoint) shining hour
By duabing pollen indiscriminately
Upon each marked but not-yet-covered flower;
Or if the cross is made and covered up
And I await its growth and hold my breath,
I know some playful kitten, bird or pup
Will pass an hour in beating it to death.

If yet an iris pod should reach full size,
And ripening begins to mark its growth
That watermelon shape attracts young eyes;
Their fruit-store game exacts my strongest oath.
Let's say the pod survives to give its seeds:
Sure, some mischance will strew them on the grass
Or scatter them across a patch of weeds
Or somewhere where I'll find them never more.

What if they're harvested and neatly sown?
What if they germinate and come to bloom?
They'll be such dogs as nobody would own-
Which even the rank beginner grudges room;
But maybe once in many hopeful crosses
One seedling will make up for all the losses!

- Peggy Edwards

The Flower Hybridizer

Some people are happy to grow what there is,
But we want to grow what there ain't.
If we've ever seen it, it's surely no good;
It should be quite different or quaint.
Now a blue dandelion might look pretty nice,

Or a daffodil, sucking its thumb.
Those common old things as they always have been
Are only for folks who are dumb.
If beards come in yellow, we wish they were black,
Or if they are black, we want red.
We just cannot tolerate things as they are.

Do let us have something instead.
The bright shining stars of a few years ago
Are now so completely passe',
It's hard to imagine how anyone could
Consider them charming or gay.
A white marigold has been greatly desired,

As well as a yellow sweet pea.
The reason is simple. As far as we know,
Those colors don't happen to be.
The things that are short, we strive to make tall,
Those naturally large we develop in small.
This is listed as progress, but progress to what?

The progress is only to what we aint' got!

- Walker Ferguson

A source for lots more poetry

A source for lots more poetry Good news for lovers of iris related poetry. HIPS distribute a collection called Poems and Songs for Iris Lovers. This is available in a photocopied facsimile of the original manuscript that was compiled by members of the Historical Iris Robin of AIS in 1967. All sorts of poems and excerpts of longer works are included. Poems and Songs for Iris Lovers are available from:
HIPS Publications Sales Chairman, Dorothy (Fingerhood) Stiefel,
312 Dryden-Harford Rd. Dryden, NY 13053. 
E-mail address:
Price: $6.00.

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