Wednesday, August 07, 2013

She brought me a bouquet of Queen Anne's Lace

 My daughter has told me that Queen Anne's Lace was her husband's favorite flower. This morning, by coincidence, we ate pancakes in the restaurant that copied Will's art from their other location.

On the recent visit to our place in the north woods, this granddaughter brought me several bouquets of this common weedy flower. She always got a rubber band before she went out, and bound them with it, This really did make them easy to put into a vase. I was surprised at how pretty a bouquet they made, too, even though it dropped a lot of golden "sand" (pollen?) on the table.

Stanley Kunitz loved flowers, too, and was a lifelong gardener. In a sonnet from his first book, he set forth his ideas on mental processes. The poem is quoted in full in Interviews and Encounters with Stanley Kunitz, edited by Stanley Moss, Sheep Meadow Press, 1993, page 146.

Organic Bloom

The brain constructs its system to enclose
The steady paradox of thought and sense,
Momentously its tissued meaning grows
To solve and integrate experience.
But life escapes closed reason. We explain
Our chaos into cosmos, cell by cell,
Only to learn of some insidious pain
Beyond the limits of our chartered hell,
A guilt not mentioned in our prayers, a sin,
Conceived against the self. So, vast and vaster
The plasmic circles of gray discipline
Spread outward to include each new disaster.
Enormous floats the brain's organic bloom
Till, bursting like a fruit, it scatters doom.

Try binding your bouquets before you put them in water. It really makes them more like nosegays. A long time ago, when I was a young librarian, an older lady, Beth Fletcher, brought me these little bound bouquets that she called nosegays. She used strands of smilax vine wound round and round to bind them. She also brought me her old New Yorker's to read; I continue loving this magazine until this day, and night. Good night with this memory thread.

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