Sonnet: To the Poppy

By Anna Seward 1742–1809 Anna Seward
While summer roses all their glory yield
   To crown the votary of love and joy,
   Misfortune’s victim hails, with many a sigh,
   Thee, scarlet Poppy of the pathless field,
Gaudy, yet wild and lone; no leaf to shield
   Thy flaccid vest that, as the gale blows high,
   Flaps, and alternate folds around thy head.
   So stands in the long grass a love-crazed maid,
Smiling aghast; while stream to every wind
   Her garish ribbons, smeared with dust and rain;
   But brain-sick visions cheat her totured mind,
And bring false peace. Thus, lulling grief and pain,
   Kind dreams oblivious from thy juice proceed,
   Thou flimsy, showy, melancholy weed.

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Poet Anna Seward 1742–1809

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Anna  Seward

Biography

Born in Derbyshire, British Romantic poet and novelist Anna Seward was the daughter of a clergyman and the only one of four children to reach adulthood. Her close friend, Honora Sneyd, was adopted into the family and served as the muse for many of Seward’s poems. In 1750 her father was chosen as Canon of Lichfield Cathedral, and a few years later the family relocated to the Bishop’s Palace, where Seward lived for the rest of . . .

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POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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