Happy Birthday Ina Coolbrith!

Sharing this post I crafted for the Arboretum Library’s Instagram:

On March 10, 1841, poet Ina Coolbrith was born. In 1915, she was crowned California’s first poet laureate which is the same year Luther Burbank named his Crimson Eschscholtzia for her (this image comes from the @californiastatelibrary). Coolbrith praised the California Poppy with her 1893 poem “Copa de Oro” (ten years before it was to become California’s state flower). In her 1915 letter thanking Burbank for this honor, Coolbrith wrote:

“Beyond expression am I honored in having my name attached to your new creation—the new California poppy, your Red Eschscholtzia. When I sang the Golden Poppy, the “Copa de Oro,” I did not dream that I should ever be associated with its “family,” but this you have done, and I am your debtor for a most lovely and gracious tribute.”

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