Queen-Anne's Lace

Original Text: 
"Queen-Ann's-Lace," Sour Grapes: a Book of Poems (Boston: The Four Seas Company, 1921): 58. York University Library Special Collections 4748.
1Her body is not so white as
3so remote a thing. It is a field
4of the wild carrot taking
5the field by force; the grass
6does not raise above it.
7Here is no question of whiteness,
8white as can be, with a purple mole
9at the center of each flower.
10Each flower is a hand's span
11of her whiteness. Wherever
12his hand has lain there is
13a tiny purple blemish. Each part
14is a blossom under his touch
15to which the fibres of her being
16stem one by one, each to its end,
17until the whole field is a
18white desire, empty, a single stem,
19a cluster, flower by flower,
20a pious wish to whiteness gone over --
21or nothing.

Notes

2] Queen Anne's lace is wild carrot or cow parsley, topped by small white flowers in clusters.
anemony: buttercup, anemone. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1921
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.