“We usually think of a Poppy as a coarse flower; but it is the most transparent and delicate of all the flowers of the field,” Celia Thaxter enthused in her classic An Island Garden book based at the other end of the Maine coast. Noting that the “Poppy is painted glass; it never glows so brightly as when the sun shines through it. Wherever it is seen, against the light or with the light, always it is a flame, and warms the wind like a blown ruby.”
After a half-page of descriptions of the color range of its many varieties, she quotes an unnamed English master of prose, “The splendor of it is proud, almost insolently so,” and then Browning’s line of “the Poppy’s red effrontery.”
Here on Moose Island, after blazing intensely, they give way all too soon.
To me, they glow like miniature suns.
How fitting, with our sunrise now approaching 4:42 and sunset around 8:19 – and nearly 17 hours of visible light.