Who Named These Things?

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers, where I can walk undisturbed… ~Walt Whitman, American poet and journalist (often called the father of free verse)

As I walked past this house the other day,
I saw a row of flowers tall and pink.
Their lack of leaves seemed no cause to shrink
As in the breezes they did dance and sway.
What are these grand dames, I did say,
And home to research Google’s famous ink.
Amaryllis Belladonna, I think.
Quite a mouthful for such a pretty spray!

Around here they have another name,
One that’s not so long or even grand.
One, in fact, that makes my face grow rosy.
Yes, indeed, these beauties’ claim to fame
(Which probably should be banned across the land)
Is Naked Lilies. Poor pitiful posy!

Note: I tried to write this as an Italian Sonnet, but I’m not at all sure I’ve succeeded. It was way harder than I thought when I started! These are interesting flowers, but I’ve never tried to grow them (they’re toxic to dogs).

19 thoughts on “Who Named These Things?

  1. Those are very interesting. That the sprouts in the spring, die back in the summer and then send up a bloom in the fall is so different! But toxic to dogs… so won’t be in my garden.

    • Barbara, I’m giggling over your suggestion that I intentionally wrote an Italian sonnet because of that statue! I assure you, it was purely coincidental!! I don’t know beans about statues; in fact, I barely noticed the thing. My schooling was woefully inept in the art department. But thank you for being so kind and trying to make me feel “educated”!!

  2. Debbie, your Italian sonnet is brilliant! How clever you are with words! And how interesting to read about the flower and its various names. And I have to say, I really like the look of them. I googled the name and discovered they come in various colors!

    Well done, my friend! Enjoyed this.

    Un bellissimo fine settimana!

    *which means have a beautiful weekend in Italian


    • Ron, you’re blessed to be able to speak some Italian! My mom, of course, grew up with it spoken in the house, but she abandoned it as fast as possible — and now claims to only understand a word here and there but not speak any at all. I’ve always found that a shame. Our world (and we ourselves) are richer for understanding and appreciating other cultures … especially if they’re ours!

      I didn’t realize these flowers came in other colors — thank you for pointing that out! I’ve only seen the pale pink, which is quite lovely, but I’d hate for Monkey to think so, ha!!

      Have a happy weekend! xx

  3. Many people call these naked ladies, which tickles me no end. They’re in the same family as the rain lilies I love, although they’re more seasonal. Rain lilies don’t care what month it is; if it rains, they’ll pop up. The largest collection of these I’ve ever seen was in Arkansas, in a vacant field across from the town’s library. I don’t know if anyone ever wrote a poem for them, let along an Italian Sonnet, but good for you for giving it a go!

    • Thank you, Linda — I’m a big fan of challenging myself! Perhaps it will keep me creative and young, ha! I can’t imagine what an entire field of these must look like, but I’ll bet it was spectacular. And I’ll bet, if I’d seen them, I wouldn’t have had a camera with me!

    • Thanks, Ann. Guess we’ll just have to enjoy looking at them in other people’s yards. Monkey, even at his young age, has never expressed interest in them, so perhaps dogs instinctively know they’re poisonous … but I’m not going to test that!

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