I had the opportunity to visit the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve recently and admire these “cups of gold” in their natural surroundings. In honor of the occasion, here’s an 1893 poem written by poet Grace Hibbard, a prominent California writer in her time.
THE STATE FLOWER OF CALIFORNIA
BEAUTIFUL, golden wild poppies,
That nod in the soft, balmy air,
Well were you chosen the emblem
Of the land of all lands most fair.
Who planted you, golden poppies?
Were you here when the world was new?
Were you painted by the morning?
Do you mirror the sunset’s hue?
Do you grow from seeds of bright gold
That are hidden away from sight?
Are you stars come down from the sky
That shine in the radiant light?
Are you golden cups o’erflowing
With jewels of rain-drops and dew?
Why are you so constant-hearted
To the State that has chosen you?
With gold you carpet the meadows,
Like the gold paved “Land of the Blest.”
Wild poppies–the flower emblem
Of the State of “The golden West.”
Cheers to California Native Plants!
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