Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Plums, Mums

{A Botanical Study for My Mama on Her Birthday}

Today is my mother's birthday. And on birthdays we love two things: Modern poetry and old-fashioned flowers. Last year I posted a beloved William Carlos Williams poem and tiny, ruffled dwarf sunflowers. This year, because I'm pulling out the big guns: her very favorite WCW poem of all, and, because she taught her daughters to remain Curious About the World, I present a collection of Strange & Marvelous botanical specimens. I've only managed to identify a few of them, but mummy, I am doing my very best to stay Curious. I love you very, very much. Happy birthday.

This is Just To Say {by William Carlos Williams}

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


  1. Oh happy birthday to your mom!!! My mom's birthday is this Friday. Love this sweet poem. XO

  2. My favorite WCW as well. Stay curious dear. We are all better for it.

  3. Beautiful post Lily. Love the poem too.
    December is a wonderful (and cool) time to come to Bangalore. The killer heat starts in March. But you probably wouldn't mind that because you've lived in a desert. Whenever you choose to come, I so look forward to meeting you!

  4. dear lilly that is one of my favorite poems of all times, i have posted it often and sometimes when tears begin to flow i instinctually recite this poem and my husband who has not memorized will say when i am stressed "plum honey in the icebox remember"

    Happy birthday to your mum, i loved what you said about your mum and i am grateful for mums such as these.

  5. oh lovely collection.

    and the poem, too.

    happy birthday!

  6. happy birthday llllisa! lovely post, cherie. xoxo

  7. I have always loved that poem. Have fun identifying your specimens! Happy birthday to your mom.

  8. Oh yay. Today is my birthday too. I hope your mother doesn't mind if I enjoy her photo, tangentially.

  9. So lovely! And you will keep us updated on the specimen identification project, right?

    Happy birthday to your mom!

  10. Ha! I just now noticed you used one of my favorite childhood words in your bio. MALARKEY. Not used nearly enough anymore. Your Mom must be some fabulous babe to have raised such an amazing lady! Thanks for the ever inspiring and heart warming parts of the newest journey.

  11. I love WCW, and that is one of my favorite poems of all time. Wishing your mother the happiest of birthdays, and while today is gloomy in New Jersey, it looks like we're in for lovely autumn weather this weekend.

  12. i LOVE this poem! and i love your mom for teaching you to be curious. and i love your project.

  13. I just wanted to say that I've been a devoted follower of your blog for a year now...maybe I've commented once- not often though. I felt, after reading this post, though, that I'd let you know that to me you seem like an incredibly thoughtful, kind and genuine person- I'm inspired by your art, your photos and your words- yes- but, really it's the person you seem to be that keeps me checking in here. So, as a mom myself- I'm guessing that your mom must feel pretty pleased to call you her daughter, and I imagine- her friend.

  14. Lovely poem, and my god what incredible paintings you create! Love your Westward ho paintings. Stunning!

  15. What a great poem and I love seeing the specimens too.

  16. Happy birthday to your mum! I've taught this poem about a million times because I LOVE it so. It's always a joy to read it again. xo

  17. I am horribly behind on checking the blogs I enjoy reading, yours being one I so look forward to seeing. This botanical birthday ode to your mother is wonderful, as is the photos from the adventures of your last post. Happy weekend.

  18. love the poem. I remember hearing it on, hmm, maybe This American Life (?) a while back. Twas a great episode. And it's perfect here too.

    Lovely collection of botanicals.



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