Lace of the New World

A snowy border to an August field.
Today’s morning walk at late summer pace.
A queen’s lace, not a common weed.
All this is a matter of perspective.
Unmelting snow on a blue summer day.

queen ann lace

Not all things with “Queen Anne” in their name refer to the Queen Anne of 1665–1714. Anne’s great-grandmother, Anne of Denmark, who was the queen consort of King James I of England, lent her name to the theatrical company Queen Anne’s Men, and Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Both queens are credited with lending their name to the plant called Queen Anne’s Lace,

The plant’s scientific name is Daucus carota, and the even less royal common names for the plant are wild carrot, bird’s nest, and bishop’s lace. Queen Anne’s lace is the name used in North America where it was naturalized in what was then called the New World.

Black Velvet

a black velvet petunia

Her neck rises from the white lace
necklaced with a black velvet band soft
as her pink and purple garden petunias.
Syllables of velvet from a tender perennial.
Flowers blackened by Death still blooming annually.

Emily created as a young girl (before the poetry) a herbarium in which she collected 424 flowers from the Amherst region. She called them “beautiful children of spring,” and arranged them in a 66-page large leather-bound album with labels of the common names and sometimes the official Linnaean ones. All are in her elegant handwriting. I don’ think she had a black petunia in the book, but I think she would have liked the flower.

Emily’s portrait with her black velvet band

A poem by Emily – #334

All the letters I can write
Are not fair as this—
Syllables of Velvet—
Sentences of Plush,
Depths of Ruby, undrained,
Hid, Lip, for Thee—
Play it were a Humming Bird—
And just sipped—me—