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This poem is taken from PN Review 80, Volume 17 Number 6, July - August 1991.

Botanical Happy Families John Heath-Stubbs

NYMPHAEACEAE

The white lily floats on the still pool
In places where the nymphs haunt;
The lotos dreams of nirvana; the yellow nenuphar,
Beloved of Mallarmé and the symbolistes -
But English peasants call it 'brandy-bottle' -
Hints, it seems, at another oblivion;
Victoria regia, enormous and imperial,
As the queen it was named for,
Displays itself upon the tropic lakes.

Long-toed, straight-clawed, spur-winged,
The lily-trotter, the elegant jaçana,
Goes across upon the lily-pads,
And seems as if he walked upon the water.

SCROFS

I dreamed I saw a yellow toad
...


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