The Poet's IVY - Poem by Jean Bleakney
One kind has a black seed and another the colour of saffron.
The latter is used by poets for their wreaths and its leaves are not so dark in colour.
- Natural History of Pliny (AD 22-79)
that it crowned
the winners of poetry
contests, Hedera poetica -
elaborated in the eighteenth century
to Hedera poetica baccis luteis, The Yellow
Archipelagian Ivy—has since been downwardly
revised through Hedera helix ssp. poetarum and
Hedera helix var. poetarum to, within the last ten years,
the lowest botanical rank: Hedera helix f. poetarum.
Distinguished merely by dullish orange berries
and lightish green leaves, it is rarely sought
and seldom offered.
are as frequently encountered
as detachable from their lofty ambitions
as Hedera helix, the common hedgerow ivy,
and its whole gallery of
subspecies, varieties and
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