Monday, June 24, 2013

The Secret Life of Irises



         "Irises"
          1.
In the night, in the wind, at the edge of rain,
I find five irises, and call them lovely.
As if a woman, once, lay by them awhile,
then woke, rose, went, the memory of hair
lingers on their sweet tongues.
I’d like to tear these petals with my teeth.
I’d like to investigate these hairy selves,
their beauty and indifference. They hold
their breath all their lives
and open, open.
         

         2.
We are not lovers, not brother and sister,
though we drift hand in hand through a hall
thrilling and burning as thought and desire
expire, and, over this dream of life,
this life of sleep, we waken dying—
violet becoming blue, growing
black, black—all that
an iris ever prays,
when it prays,
to be.
        ~ Li-Young Lee








The photographs are mine.

44 comments:

  1. Awesome photos...simply beautiful! The deep purple one is my favorite.

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  2. The images, the colors are wonderful.

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  3. Wauw, Wauw, Wauw!

    Grethe ´) ´) ´)

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  4. Replies
    1. Good Lord, mister, where you been hiding? Good to see you!

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  5. If one thinks both about simplicity and beauty eventually the focus may be on an iris. Certainly the native blue flag is one of my all time favorites, but many cultivars are awe inspiring as well. And the words and photos that you display here are perfect. A wonderful visual and reading experience, for sure.

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    1. Thanks, Bill. I had a good time looking so closely at these beauties.

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  6. I have a rock wall on the side of my house that is lined with buttercup yellow and deep purple irises. SOmeone was ripping them out of their yard and throwing them away, so I rescued them and brought them to live at Honeysuckle Hill...here with the wild roses and the hollyhocks and the honeysuckle and peonies.

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you came to their rescue. Against a rock wall sounds beautiful. I'm sure they make nice companions to all those other beauties. It's good to hear from you! Thanks!

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  7. Every couple of years I think, "I should plant irises." Some day I probably will. But I doubt they will have such intriguing secret lives as these words imply!!!

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  8. I remember learning the smell of irises years ago. Whether it's because I imagined it or not, the purple ones have the faintest smell of grape, and the yellow ones of light lemon. I love irises, and your pictures. :-)

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    1. The lemony centers do have that scent... thanks, Jan!

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  9. They are such flamboyant flowers. THey always remind me of fabulous Edwardian outfits made of taffeta and embroidery!

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    1. Love your observation. They do have an Edwardian look to them... Thank you, Jenny!

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  10. Stunning photos, Teresa, to match the words of Li-Young Lee, whom I am coming to admire more and more thanks to your introduction.

    One of our garden club ladies specializes in iris and has been prominent in the Northern Illinois Iris Society. I was given a nice little honor at the beginning of June from the club, and was presented with a stunning bouquet hand-crafted by Betsy. Its fragrance filled our home for days and I felt bereft when they were finally spent.

    all that
    an iris ever prays,
    when it prays,
    to be.

    Just to be. Beautiful post, Teresa. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Penny, I always enjoy your thoughtful comments. You live a very full inner life ... it shows in your outward expression of it.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks you so much, Janice. I had such fun taking them.

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  12. Your photos are beautiful. I do love iris, and here in Texas and Louisiana we're blessed to have them wild. In fact, the iris is the State Wildflower of Louisiana, and Texas has some of the loveliest miniatures you can imagine.

    Not only that, one of my mother's dear friends was named Iris. I've not thought of her for years, but now I have, thanks to you.

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    1. I have a few wild ones along both the road and the river, and a few in the hollow below the house. I love their simple elegance.

      I thought of the writer, Iris Murdoch... :)

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  13. oh so luscious the shape and colors of the iris, so common a flower and yet such an uncommon shape and design. I wonder what came first an iris flower or the iris of the eye?

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    1. That's interesting... I don't know... I see some googling in my near future... :)

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  14. I think these are very good pictures. Colors help a lot.

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  15. oh my..... roses now irises... just beautiful pictures and great poem. I live on Iris Street and want to flood my front yard with them. roses and irises and daffodils ~ honeysuckle... ahhhh

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    1. So many beautiful options... nice to hear from you, Carolyn...

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  16. This was a nice start to the day. Especially with a cup of hot coffee.

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    1. Coffee in the morning ... everything goes well with that... :)

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  17. I love irises. How do you suppose they know how to grow so beautiful?

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    Replies
    1. These make me believe in "intelligent design... "

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  18. Dear Teresa--"all than an iris prays when it prays . . . to be." And what more is there? But to be wholly within Wholeness/Oneness. And to simply be before all creation what it is that we are and can be at the deep center of ourselves. Peace.

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    1. Exactly so, Dee. I love the connection we know we share... :)

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  19. Your irises are lovely! I especially like the deep purple shade. And the poem is perfect.

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  20. O Amor é complexo, mas é lindo,
    muito lindo! Quando ele .
    Acredite no Tempo, na Amizade,
    na Sabedoria, e principalmente no Amor.
    A verdadeira amizade supõe um pacto de fidelidade,
    uma capacidade de dar sem esperar resposta.
    Em nome desse amor , que estou aqui hoje.
    Um dia especial..especial de verdade.
    O aniversário da minha princesa(Lara)
    por isso venho convidar para uma visita no meu blog.
    Uma semana abençoada e na paz.
    Beijos no coração ,Evanir


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    1. Happy Birthday, and I shall be happy to visit your blog.

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  21. Thanks for the introduction to Li-Young Lee.

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by. It's good to see you again.

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