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Iris Poetry
The following iris poems were collected from various correspondences on the Internet iris discussion group the "Iris List". Thanks to all those that contributed the bits and pieces. This was originally published in the Winter 1998 issue of the CIS Newsletter. Enjoy. Source for more iris poetry given at the end of this item.

An Iris Blessing

May your blooms be floriferous and in good form,
Distinctive, with good substance, flare, and airborne,
With standards and falls that endure, never torn.
May you display many buds and blooms sublime,
In graceful proportion on strong stalks each day,
Gently floating above the fans and the fray.
May you too reach toward the moon and stars,
Bloom after bloom, many seasons in the sun,
Enjoying your life, health, and each loved one,
Until your 'living days are artfully done.

By Georgia Gudykunst

Iris, Most Beautiful Flower

Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues, the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class.
You bloom with the first in Winter,
With the last, in the Fall, you still show;
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
Your form and beauty of flower,
An artist's desire of full worth;
So Iris, we love you and crown you,

Edith Buckner Edwards
AIS bulletin January 1961

The following iris poem is from an old catalog of "Green Gate Gardens 1931" which used to be in Bennettsville, South Carolina. The owner’s name was Gabrielle Drake McColl. The poem is as follows:


The garden with its little gate of green,
Invites you to enter, and view mysteries unseen,
Its vine laden bowers and overhanging trees,
The air filled with sweetness, the hum of the bees,
The flagged walks with Iris galore,
Of most beautiful coloring, unknown before,
Pink, white, purple, yellow, azure blue,
Mixed and mingled of every hue,
You come away wondering, can more beauty be seen
Than in the garden with its little gate of green.



White Iris, how pure, how lovely,
Like a virgin
In her starched lawn fete dress
Iris, pallid blue, gold veined,
And as if coloured from dawn chills,
Or from the yellow-fingered touching
Of curious starlight
Purple Iris,
Streaked with amethystine memories of the night,
Health-glossed and firm are those ripe wings
Of Oriental butterflies
So in my garden
Undulating ranks of Iris,
Slimly holding their broad flat blooms
(Like tripods of incense)
Aloft towards the moist spearing
Of morning sunlight.

By Michael Strange


Leaves of my life are now turning
bronze and copper and gold.
And there is the fragrance of burning
as nights grow longer and cold.
Life's seasons are always recurrent
and winter no permanent thing -
Yet to me it is nothing abhorrent --
my life cannot cycle to spring.
The SPIRIT FOR LIFE which has sired me
shall take me again in its power
And composting all that is mortal
renew me in some shining flower.

Herbert H. McKusick
longtime ASI President

A source for lots more

Good news for lovers of iris related poetry. HIPS distribute a collection called Poems and Songs for Iris Lovers. This is available in a photocopied facsimile of the original manuscript that was compiled by members of the Historical Iris Robin of AIS in 1967. All sorts of poems and excerpts of longer works are included. Poems and Songs for Iris Lovers are available from:
HIPS Publications Sales Chairman, Dorothy (Fingerhood) Stiefel,
312 Dryden-Harford Rd. Dryden, NY 13053. 
E-mail address: daf10@cornell.edu
Price: $6.00.