May/June 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 3 Nature’s Nature 2020May 1, 2020 |

A Field Guide to Mythological Botany

And yet love’s own death can make beauty, too, a slain Adonis’s blood transformed into this field of red anemones. Hyacinth’s blood blooming into larkspur. Demeter’s mortal love, Mekon, memoralized by the poppy. Narcissus’s own self-loving stare sets a slow death, the body breaking into daffodils. Love’s eternal life cycle brings an identical beloved each season.  — yes, Zeus breathed a crocus from a bull body, made beauty his net to catch Europa. But forests come from resistance: turn your own body into branch and bloom — be Daphne, Erytheia, Hesperia, Aigle. Underneath their soil they share sugars, nutrients, hormones, become one organism reaching to the sky, its body buried, growing quietly beneath us.

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Rebecca Morgan Frank is the author of three collections of poems, including Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2017) and Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon Poetry, 2012), a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her poems have recently appeared in the New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and Orion. She is the 2019–20 Distinguished Visiting Writer in Poetry at Bowling Green State University.

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Epithalamion Aubade

By Rebecca Morgan Frank

And yet love’s own death can make beauty, too, a slain Adonis’s blood transformed into this field of red anemones. Hyacinth’s blood blooming into larkspur. Demeter’s mortal love, Mekon, memoralized […]

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