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19 July 2011

To him who keeps an Orchis' heart –

To him who keeps an Orchis' heart –
The swamps are pink with June.
                                                                    - F 31 (1858)

This lovely epigrammatic snippet has a neat play on words in addition to the promise that the beauty of swamps in spring time is always part of those whose heart itself flowers. The second line includes the words "swamps" and "pink" -- the swamp pink is a lovely woodland flower loving the boggy wet ground. Dickinson would have been familiar with it as well as the orchis--The Showy Orchid, or Orchis spectabilis.


                      Showy Orchid, or the "Orchis" of the poem. 
                      Photo from midatlantichikes.com


                      The Swamp Pink. 
                      Photo from mastergardening.com


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