My newspaper tells me that, today, 15 October, is Virgil’s birthday. He was born in 70 BC. To quote from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/virgil “Publius Vergilius Maro was a classical Roman poet, best known for three major works—the Bucolics (or Eclogues), the Georgics, and the Aeneid—although several minor poems are also attributed to him. The son of a farmer in northern Italy, Virgil came to be regarded as one of Rome’s greatest poets; his Aeneid as Rome’s national epic.”
My poetry book “Poem for the Day”, edited by Nicholas Albery, tells me that, today, 15 October, is the day that English poet Robert Herrick died in 1674. Robert Herrick was well-versed ( yes well-versed !) in the ancient authors, and like Virgil, many of his poems are pastoral or bucolic. He also believed that he would “triumph over “Times trans-shifting” and live beyond death through his verses” http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/robert-herrick
One of Herrick’s poems which lives on is Delight in Disorder
It also takes me to the abundant and gorgeous
I look forward to its appearance, every year, in early October, and ,more often than not, it arrives in time to help me celebrate the October birthdays of my aunt and my grandmother 🙂 Clever little plants!
Another poet, sometimes pastoral, is Eleanor Farjeon, most widely known for her poem/hymn, A Morning Song, Morning Has Broken.
In 1965, the year of Eleanor Farjeon’s death, a friend of my paternal grandmother gave me Farjeon’s “The Children’s Bells”, ( first published in 1957 ). It is a book of verse for children but contains this small poem, titled Sweet Robin Herrick (born 20 August 1591). Although some of Herrick’s poems have a wantonness that might be considered inappropriate for a child, Eleanor Farjeon obviously thought him too important a poet to leave out from a child’s literary education!
This day Robin Herrick
Was born in Cheapside,
His father he laughed
And his mother she cried,
So to sweet Robin Herrick
‘Twas given to spy The tear in the marigold’s Laughing eye.”
I have no marigolds at this time of year, so the best I can do, to perpetuate this enduring and wonderful poetic lineage, is to show some photos of the wayward, wanton disorderly poesie of my garden
Floral Notes: Lily of the Valley symbolises the return of happiness. It is the national flower of Finland and the flower of May in the Northern Hemisphere. And its delicate scent makes it a lovely addition to a small floral bouquet on my kitchen window sill. (It was also in Kate Middleton’s wedding bouquet 🙂 )