Herb Poetry & Quotes

Herb Poetry & Quotes

Joined: December 18th, 2007, 1:07 pm

October 27th, 2008, 11:16 am #1

This is me with my webmistress hat on, I was sent this herby poem recently by a friend, its from a book called 'Herb Woman And Other Poems' by Eleanor C. Koenig...

<FONT size=4><STRONG>Herb Woman</STRONG></FONT>

Roots and herbs she gathers,
Morning, night and noon,
By the raising dog-star,
Underneath the moon.

In her fragrant kitchen
While the lost world sleeps,
Gentle midnight priestess,
She mixes and steeps.

Shakes the leafy brethren,
Sorts and scrapes with skill,
On her vibrant fingers
Wood and field and hill-

Poppy leaves and wormwood
Peony petals spilt,
Dreamy hop flowers added,
For a headache quilt.

Hands only made for healing,
Nostrils made for smell,
Forehead wide and yearning,
Eyes fixed in a spell.

With the loose prescriptions
Floating through her head,
Such are prayers she mutters
Ere she goes to bed:

By Eleanor C. Koenig

It gave me the idea to add some quotes to the top of the forum and add a section to the website with herb poems, lyrics and other instances of herbs used in the literary world. I'd like to share this section from 'The Sunken Garden' by Walter De La Mare

"Speak not - whisper not;
Here bloweth thyme and bergamot;
Softly on the evening hour,
Secret herbs their spices shower.
Dark-spiked rosemary and myrrh,
Lean-stalked, purple lavendar;
Hides within her bosom, true,
All her sorrows, bitter rue. "

Many of the older books about herbs have quotes about herbs, anecdotes and poems, Lady Rosalind Northcote in her "Book of Herb Lore" is a treasury of such things including quotes by Tennyson, Cowper, Shakespeare and Drayton, and Margaret Brownlow's book "Herbs And The Fragrant Garden" contains some lovely herb poems she wrote. One of them "Tradition" written in 1956 even has a references to Maud Grieve (1)&nbsp;and Hilda Leyel (2).

"Note the lady of Chalfont St. Giles (1) Inexhaustabile merit
Lies in her present day herbal. Still sharing her meed
The healer who took as her trade sign old Culpeper's lure, (2)
Bringing health as her garland, and fame."

So have&nbsp;any of you have any favourite herbal quotes, poems or songs to share? If you have original poems about herbs and you don't mind them appearing on the HS website, you can post them here or send them to me by email. If the item you submit is by another person please give the source so we can give credit to the original author.

Last edited by DebsCook on October 27th, 2008, 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: January 25th, 2008, 4:49 pm

October 27th, 2008, 4:40 pm #2

Hi Debs,
I love your idea for the quotes etc.
I have one on my clinic leaflets
"Many men died when the the weed that could cure them grows on their graves."
Can`t remember who it is by but will check up it.


Joined: December 19th, 2007, 10:46 am

October 28th, 2008, 9:13 pm #3

I hope no-one minds me saying this, but I have a book of poetry - half of which is about my herb gardens and the other half about Cornwall, which is being published on November 7th (hopefully) as an ebook.

This is a fragment from "Summer Blessing"

I close this gate
Leaving all here to the watchful gaze of these spirits of place
Unto you I commit
- the butterfly on the knapweed
- the bumble bees on the motherwort
- the honey bees on the goats rue
- the stag resting in the grass
- the blackbird in the mulberry bush
- the wren in the ivy
- the long-tailed tit in the willow
- the buzzard soaring overhead
- the little owls in the ash tree
- the red ants in the comfrey
- the blackflies in the Himalayan balsam
- the sparrows on the nettles
- the broken nest of the pheasant
- the water boatmen on the pond
- the white flowers of the meadowsweet
- the seedpods of the spotted orchid
- the ripening burrs of the burdock
- the maturing flowers of the black cohosh
- the flower stalks of the agrimony
Let all be well