Writings and Witterings

Six foot four – Sunflower


Napowrimo said: in honour of Earth Day, on Day 22, write a poem about a plant. ‘Flowers, of course, have been the subject of poems since time immemorial, and continue to be a source of much inspiration’.

I am up-to-date!  Yay 🙂

Six foot four – Sunflower
What could be
A six foot four
Of the Americas.

Perhaps …
10 tonnes of Ai Weiwei’s
Famous porcelain sunflower seeds!
10 tonnes,
A 10th of those
Tate Modern’s
Turbine Hall.

The perfect sunshine
Yellow, fiery and proud,
Stunning spirals
Typically loud,
Times thirty-four inside,
Fifty-five outside,

Helianthus annuus
For birds,
For bread, medicine,
Dyes, body paints,
Sunflower oil,
Livestock feed, latex,
Yes, latex
Six foot four!

Polly Stretton © 2012


39 thoughts on “Six foot four – Sunflower

  1. Like the repetition and emphasis of the height. Outrageous is a very apt description of a sunflower – nothing subtle about any aspect of them!


  2. The perfect sunshine, yellow, fiery, proud…I love sunflowers and you have written the perfect ode to them…


  3. And linolenic acid?
    What is the name again for that spiral pattern?
    Looking forward to hearing you read this.


    • Goodness, Aprille, looks like you know a lot more than I about sunflowers – I’d like to know the answers to those questions too – I just love sunflowers, did a miniscule amount of research, and wrote the poem.

      Your poem in doubly rhymed couplet ‘ODE TO MY WHITE CAMELLIA’ is so beautiful and perhaps gives a clue to your interest in flowers, or is it more than an interest?

      Looks like you’re into audio – I’ve only experimented with it so far – will post the recording when / if it gets done 🙂

      Thank you so much for your comments.


  4. Lovely breakdown of the sunflower’s components!

    My husband is 6 foot 6. . . as tall as the sun 😉


  5. Ah, Sunflowers! I can’t get enough of them. Fortunately that is not a problem here in the south of France.


  6. Thank you for this fine poem & tribute to the gorgeous sunflowers…


    • Glad you like it Lindy – sunflowers are one of my favourite flowers, stunningly beautiful until the rain gets on them as they’ve done in the UK over recent days, then they get to look a little sad …


  7. I could relate very easily to this. We had three sunflower seeds given us by a neighbour. One plant died, one struggled to about four feet, and the third reached the first floor bedroom window.

    In all seriousness, though, a thoughtful and fine poem.


  8. I thought for a moment I was reading a commercial ad for sunflower growers! Just kidding! A very enjoyable–and informative–read. I’ve seen fields of the giants, and they are an awesome sight!


  9. haha your last two lines really made me chuckle…sunflowers are so amazing….they say size matters …so all the more for the big ones…smiles.


  10. So beautiful… thanks for starting my day on a sunflower note.


  11. Outrageous, indeed. I love sunflowers and this is the first year we planted one in our yard. They are abundant down by the river and throughout our neighborhood. This brought to mind a drive we took a long time ago through South Dakota when they were all alive…field after field. Great sense of place.


  12. A very fun read. Love the alliteration throughout, flows off the tongue nicely.


  13. Great playfulness and sense of wonder, and as others have mentioned the repetition is used to good effect here. Thanks Polly.


  14. You know what is funny is every April I mean to jump on the Napowrimo wagon, and every year I somehow forget. Sorry I am tangential by nature- what I really wanted to say was this was a sehr groovy poem. Peace.


    • Next year then? Hope so 🙂 This year was the first time I took part, I fell badly behind as you probably saw, but did catch up in the end.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this poem, for some reason it is the most popular of all so far (according to the stats!) and it appears in the Brian Wrixon & Poets with Voices Strong anthology: Reflections on a Blue Planet 4 Nature’s Palette http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3387977 out now 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it.


      • Yes, I hope 2013 finds me remembering to do Napowrimo, and I further hope this year finds me doing NaNoWriMo as I’ve missed the last couple of years on that. I can certainly see why the poem was so popular, and groovy on getting it into an anthology- that is always groovy. Peace.


  15. I’m delighted to announce that Six foot four – Sunflower appears in an Anthology by Brian Wrixon & Poets with Voices Strong called Reflections on a Blue Planet 4: Nature’s Palette


  16. So wonderful Polly ~ I do love the flow and vibrant voice of this piece…and I agree – outrageous these fantastically tall flowers are indeed! Fantastic that your poem was published in Reflexions… Thank you so much for directing me here so I could appreciate this. Like my Blueberry piece, it gives focus and appreciation to a gift of nature we may sometimes take for granted…. Loved it!!! ~Robyn


    • Thank you so much for looking it up, Robyn, really pleased you like it. Your blueberry piece just put me in mind of it, nature, fruit/ flowers etc., these things, you’re right, we so take them for granted.

      Thank you for visiting ~ Polly


  17. I LOVE SUNFLOWERS! Who knew they were so useful in such a lyrical fashion?


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