Poems and quotes about wildflowers
June 24, 2009 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Unique and beautiful poems/quotes/lyrics regarding seeds and or wildflowers.

I'm getting married shortly. For our wedding favors, we are giving out packets of local wildflower seeds to our guests. I am putting a label on the seeds, and I would like to maybe have a quote/sonnet/poem/or lyric on the label about wildflowers and seeds along with our names and the date of our marriage.

I've spent hours googling for quotes, but nothing I've found makes me really happy. I'm thinking the best quotes are out there in poetry books many mefites will have on their shelves.

We are atheists, enviromentalists, and left leaning politically. So no bible verses.

Thanks so much for the help!
posted by anonymous to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Although I don't have a specific suggestion, I would recommend you check out Mary Oliver. Her nature poetry is absolutely wonderful. Some of it slightly religious, more in a general spiritual sense - but a lot are not at all religious. And those that are, are lovely enough that this die-hard atheist still loves them.
posted by Stacey at 6:36 PM on June 24, 2009

Coincidentally enough, I've been humming Peter Gabriel's song from Wall*E all evening. And it has this lyric:

We're coming down to the ground
To hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
Send the seeds out in the breeze

I've just hit Bartlett's Book of famliar quotations:

AUTHOR: John Addington Symonds (1840–1893)
QUOTATION: No seed shall perish which the soul hath sown.

AUTHOR: Alfred Tennyson Tennyson (1809–1892)
QUOTATION: Read my little fable:
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.

I'll keep thinking.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:04 PM on June 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think "A Blessing," one of the best known poems by James Wright, might fit your bill. I particularly like the idea of the last few lines being printed on the back of a packet of seeds; I think they would really lend themselves to your re-interpretation:

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.
posted by theantikitty at 7:13 PM on June 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

From a song called "When I Reach The Place I'm Going":

Every light begins with darkness
Every flower was once a seed
And with the sun and wind to test us
We are bound to be released
posted by ersatzkat at 7:14 PM on June 24, 2009

The Sprout and The Bean [youtube] by Joanna Newsom [lyricsmania.com]
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:14 PM on June 24, 2009

"They Feed They Lion" by Phil Levine

From the sweet glues of the trotters
Come the sweet kinks of the fist, from the full flower
Of the hams the thorax of caves,
From "Bow Down" come "Rise Up,"
Come they Lion from the reeds of shovels,
The grained arm that pulls the hands,
They Lion grow.

“The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower” by Dylan Thomas

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:22 PM on June 24, 2009

Just did some poking around and came across some information about these Richard Brautigan poems specifically intended for seed packets. I think some of these would be lovely. I like "Lettuce." (Although if you're being hounded about having kids and aren't interested this would probably encourage the hounding, so maybe best to pick another one.)
posted by Stacey at 7:27 PM on June 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

A quote from Chance the gardener of Jerzy Kosinski's Being There: "In a garden... growth has its season. There are spring and summer, but there are also fall and winter. And then spring and summer again. As long as the roots are not severed, all is well and all will be well."
posted by illenion at 7:39 PM on June 24, 2009

How about printing the opening bars to To A Wild Rose by Edward McDowell? (can you tell I'm a musician?)
posted by fearnothing at 4:27 AM on June 25, 2009

John Clare's Flower Poems. You could do the entire wedding just with poems by Clare. Here's his poem Evening Primrose:

Evening Primrose

When once the sun sinks in the west,
And dewdrops pearl the evening's breast;
Almost as pale as moonbeams are,
Or its companionable star,
The evening primrose opes anew
Its delicate blossoms to the dew;
And, hermit-like, shunning the light,
Wastes its fair bloom upon the night,
Who, blindfold to its fond caresses,
Knows not the beauty it possesses;
Thus it blooms on while night is by;
When day looks out with open eye,
Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun,
It faints and withers and is gone.
posted by Kattullus at 4:49 AM on June 25, 2009

Also this verse might not specifically be about wild flowers but I always found the way it discusses life and growing things to be extremely profound, despite my not being religious.
posted by fearnothing at 4:54 AM on June 25, 2009

whoops, no bible verses, my apologies.

I still think it's a good line though, even for non-religious people.
posted by fearnothing at 4:57 AM on June 25, 2009

You belong among the wildflowers,
You belong somewhere close to me.
Far away from your trouble and worries
You belong somewhere you feel free.
- Tom Petty, Wildflowers
posted by rinosaur at 4:58 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
posted by rinosaur at 4:59 AM on June 25, 2009

These poems by Clare might be especially appropriate for your packets of wildflowers: To an Insignificant Flower Obscurely Blooming in a Lonely Wild and The Nosegay of Wild Flowers, There's the Daisy, the Woodbine.
posted by Kattullus at 5:04 AM on June 25, 2009

The Roses

One day in summer
when everything
has already been more than enough
the wild beds start
exploding open along the berm
of the sea; day after day
you sit near them; day after day
the honey keeps on coming
in the red cups and the bees
like amber drops roll
in the petals: there is no end,
believe me! to the inventions of summer,
to the happiness your body
is willing to bear.

– Mary Oliver
posted by jammy at 6:22 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not a Deadhead or anything, but I've always liked this line from Franklin's Tower:

wildflower seed on sand and stone
may the four winds blow you safely home
posted by diogenes at 6:26 AM on June 25, 2009

this is the last few stanzas of Mary Oliver's poem "Happiness" (she's watching a black bear)

I saw her let go of the branches,
I saw her lift her honeyed muzzle
into the leaves, and her thick arms,
as though she would fly –
an enormous bee
all sweetness and wings –
down into the meadows, the perfection
of honeysuckle and roses and clover –
to float and sleep in the sheer nets
swaying from flower to flower
day after shining day.

– Mary Oliver
posted by jammy at 6:27 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

one more: it's just a saying, don't think it has any attribution other than Anon.

"Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower."
posted by jammy at 6:32 AM on June 25, 2009

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