There was a piece on the Today programme this morning about how this year we will have a bumper crop of daisies. Apparently, the plentiful rain combined with warm conditions has encouraged their growth. They are unusually long-stemmed too.
I've always loved daisies. They remind me of lying on the school playing fields and chatting to girls whilst they made daisy chains. Picking them, pulling the petals and squeezing the oily yellow stamens would also give you something to do to avoid ogling too much. Delicious summer days.
One of my favourite poems is 'A Daisy' by Jon Silkin. His flower poems comprise the most original nature poetry that I've come across. They contain an uncanny combination of irrepressible energy, a rich sensuality and a careful, almost botanical, precision in description. They succeed in giving you a totally fresh view of something intimately familiar; and not just of the nominal subject. I get a thrill every time I read this one:
Being numerous. They ask for attention
With that gradated yellow swelling
Of oily stamens. Petals focus them:
The eye-lashes grow wide.
Why should not one bring these to a funeral?
And at night, like children,
Without anxiety, their consciousness
Shut with white petals;
The unwearying, small sunflower
Fills the grass
With versions of one eye.
A strength in the full look
Candid, solid, glad.
Domestic as milk.
In multitudes, wait,
Each, to be looked at, spoken to.
They do not wither;
Their going, a pressure
Of elate sympathy
Released from you.
Rich up to the last interval
With minute tubes of oil, pollen;
Utterly without scent, for the eye,
For the eye, simply. For the mind
And its invisible organ,
That feeling thing.
[from Nature with Man, 1965]