Red Geranium and Godly Mignonette

Original Text: 
D. H. Lawrence, Last Poems, ed. Richard Aldington (London: Martin Secker, 1933): 29-30. PR 6023 A93 A17 Robarts Library.
1Imagine that any mind ever thought a red geranium!
2As if the redness of a red geranium could be anything but a sensual experience
3and as if sensual experience could take place before there were any senses.
4We know that even God could not imagine the redness of a red geranium
6when geraniums were not, and mignonette neither.
7And even when they were, even God would have to have a nose to smell at the mignonette.
9Or the Most High, during the coal age, cudgelling his mighty brains
10even if he had any brains: straining his mighty mind
11to think, among the moss and mud of lizards and mastodons
12to think out, in the abstract, when all was twilit green and muddy:
13"Now there shall be tum-tiddly-um, and tum-tiddly um,
15We know it couldn't be done.
16But imagine, among the mud and the mastodons
17god sighing and yearning with tremendous creative yearning, in that dark green mess
18oh, for some other beauty, some other beauty
19that blossomed at last, red geranium, and mignonette.


5] mignonette: little herb with green-yellow flowers. Back to Line
8] heliotrope: purple-flowered herb of the borage family. Back to Line
14] hey-presto! magician's exclamation as the trick is done. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
See Roberts A62
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.