Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blue-eyed Mary

When winter's chill has scarce left earth
And April winds blow "Hey down derry!"
Comes gaily dancing down my hill
Sweet, laughing, Blue-eyed-mary.

She wears a dress of bronzy green
Draped round her light and airy;
She lifts the loveliest face I've seen-
Brave, tender, Blue-eyed-mary.

Her eyes shine like the azure sky,
Her step light as a fairy;
Her face, no crystal drift so white,
Dear, steadfast Blue-eyed-mary.

My hat is off to Bouncing Bet,
Gill-over-the-ground runs quite contrary,
Black-eyed-susan is my pet,
But I'm in love with Blue-eyed-mary.

by Gene Stratton-Porter

From Wikipedia
"Gene Stratton-Porter (August 17, 1863 - December 6, 1924) was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, and one of the earliest women to form a movie studio and production company. She wrote some of the best selling novels and well-received columns in magazines of the day.

Born Geneva Grace Stratton in Wabash County, Indiana, she married Charles D. Porter in 1886, and they had one daughter, Jeannette.
She became a wildlife photographer, specializing in the birds and moths in one of the last of the vanishing wetlands of the lower Great Lakes Basin. The Limberlost and Wildflower Woods of northeastern Indiana were the laboratory and inspiration for her stories, novels, essays, photography, and movies.
Although Stratton-Porter wanted to focus on nature books, it was her romantic novels that made her famous and generated the finances that allowed her to pursue her nature studies.

She was an accomplished author, artist and photographer and is generally considered to be one of the first female authors to promulgate public positions — in her case, conserving the Limberlost Swamp."

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Lisa at Greenbow said...

I love this poem Nina. Did you write it? I also love Blue eyed Marys. It is such a sweet flower. We know of only one place to see them during spring and we always look for them. They are finished blooming here.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

P.S. I just looked back at the post to read the poem again and saw that it was by Mz Porter.

I have been trying to catch up on reading posts since I have been out of town a few days. I better slow down some huh?.

Ruth said...

I didn't know Gene Stratton Porter wrote poetry. I have a number of her books. Pretty flower.

bobbie said...

What a charming poem. I'm not familiar with this flower. Isn't it a pretty one!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Beautiful picture and poem..

cestoady said...

Isn't it glorious and wonderful that such writing can bring out the inherent grace and personality of even the lowest, inconspicuous flower -- or any flower?

I can hardly wait to meet Sweet,laughing,Blue- eyed Mary someday.

Mary said...

Blue-eyed Marys are so pretty and delicate. I love her shade of eye shadow :-)

Dave Coulter said...

What an awesome post that hits close to home.

Indeed, those wetlands in NW Indiana were once some of the largest freshwater wetlands on earth. There are enormous ditches over there that drained it all away, (although now they're trying to restore portions of it). The sandhill cranes stop in these fields today on their way south. I saw a (one!) whooping crane one time feeding with about fifty sandhills. (Note: there were about a hundred other humans watching too!)

As a kid, my dad and I used to fish around the Kankakee. As an adult I continue to revisit these areas, and wonder upon what they once were...

Weeping Sore said...

Thanks for the lovely poem and photos - sweet peas?
Thanks for introducing me to a new poet.

LauraHinNJ said...

great poem!

nina said...

Weeping Sore-- Blue-eyed Mary is in the figwort family. Genus Collinsia. (But it does look like something between a violet and a pea!) By any name it is delicate and beautiful, and brightens dark quiet places.

Dave--it is hard to see the loss of wetlands. To so many, it looks like nothing more than wasteland, needing to be drained or filled with construction debris.
If only they could see what's within?

Mary--I was going to send these your way--couldn't share them without thinking of you! (are your eyes blue?)

Laura--I know you're a poetry lover--have you read her books?

KatDoc said...

Where did you find the Blue-eyed Mary? I love it and look for it every year. I have missed it the last two springs.