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Lilium longiflorum


Easter Lily.JPG
Ahh, the lovely Easter lily has arrived! I got mine today and just admired its stark white beauty and trumpet-shaped flowers, and my heart rejoiced in the symbolism of resurrection life. Here it is, that white-robed apostle of hope, on my back deck as the sun sank low.

A wonderful poem by American poet Anne Porter, in her mid-nineties when the treasury this is part of, Living Things: Collected Poems, was published (talk about a late bloomer), begs to be read:

AN EASTER LILY

[Ahem, the first verse
is now missing
because I was kindly informed
by a commenter below
That I was violating copyright law.
This beautiful verse
used to be about
A Paschal moon
Shining into our homes
With radiant ceremony]

…here’s the rest of the amazing poem,
I’m so sorry I can’t post all of it:

I for my part received
An Easter lily
Whose whiteness
Is past belief

Its blossoms
The shape of trumpets
Are mute as swans

But deep and strong as sweat
Is their feral perfume.

by Anne Porter

Though native to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, I love the fact that the Easter Lily Capital of the World is on the southern coast of MY state, Oregon!

I’ve been savoring these days leading up to Easter, this most glorious of all Christian holidays. I’m trying to incorporate traditions into my family, and when holidays come around, I’m always on the lookout for a meaningful observance to weave into our life. I didn’t grow up with traditions, and even as a child I was very sad about that. I want my own children to be grown and say to one another, “Don’t you remember when we always picked out an Easter lily for our table, and one for Grandma, too?”

Take pleasure in this week, and hold onto your traditions or create new ones.

Lily close up
(I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.)

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2 Responses

  1. Janice Harayda April 3rd, 2007 at 6:22 am

    So glad you like “An Easter Lily.” It’s a wonderful poem. Just a friendly reminder that printing the entire poem is a copyright violation, which is why I used only part of it. The site that has permissions and other information is http://www.steerforth.com.

    “Living Things” also has poems called “A Pasture Rose,” “The Pear Tree,” “When the Privet Blooms” and others your visitors might like.
    Jan Harayda
    One-Minute Book Reviews
    http://www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com

  2. Jen April 3rd, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Jan, thank you! I’ll take a look at the website you listed and get it straight. I guess I’ll have to make some modifications. =(

    I really enjoyed your review of Porter and your other writing, and I’ll be looking for Anne Porter’s work. It’s hard to find, but a real treasure. Can you imagine being 95 and having a newly published work?! I’d be happy just to feed myself and maybe walk. What a woman, and it’s a pity we don’t hear more about her.

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