Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Feb 5, 2010

Florist's Daughter or, Peonies! Peonies!

Wrote up this as a note on Facebook and decided to post here as well...

 George-Anna Harbeson, c. 1926

Thought I'd share one of my mom's poems today, in honor of her birthday. She died in 2008. She would have been 87.

She wrote several poems entitled Florist's Daughter. Her father, George Harbeson, was a bookseller, flower farmer, poet and writer of political commentary. He appears over and over in my mother's poetry and prose, in her reminiscences, her stories and longings...right up until her passing.

This poem was printed in the Christian Science Monitor March 26, 1949, when she was 26, about seven years after her father's death.

Florist's Daughter

I was too young to know
The misty blue of iris
Would be forever stamped upon
     my mind,
And the warm colors of peonies
And rainbow rows of tulips
Marching down to meet the sun
Where it sank beyond the silver
     poplar hedge.
I was too young to know
The beauty of the flowers
My father tended would stay
     with me
Through all the years
Like buds unfolding in my mind
Longing for expression,
In cool and petaled words
Yet remaining forever
     as undefinable
As the misty blue of iris.

---George-Anna Harbeson Carter

1934 newspaper ad for my grandfather's Ohio flower farm, found it searching the internet

Previous blog post here, where I wrote about finding a picture of my grandfather I'd never seen before, as well as a little booklet of his poetry.


At 2/5/10, 1:57 PM, Blogger Diana Troldahl said...

Thank you for sharing your mother's poem.
It has great meaning for me.
Diana (who has lost her garden, except in memory)
Blessed Be.

At 2/9/10, 3:43 PM, Blogger Linda Sue said...

Loving your Mom's poetry, how sad alzheimers robbed us all of more. You are her daughter- must be in the blood - this poetry thing, the way of seeing that is so delightful, moving, alive!


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