The poem “Grotesque”, written by Amy Lowell, is one of the many poems about a flower. It’s also the way that something ordinary turns into a form of art. Plucking a lily is something that is so common. In her poem, Lowell takes this to a next level. She makes it into a form of art.

About this poem

Plucking flowers. Who hasn’t done this? Did you ever consider this to be an art form? It isn’t if you consider it as a common thing. It isn’t even when you want it to be. However, if you describe it in the way that Lowell did: then it is.


A poem is a beautiful form of art when you take into consideration that moment when the poet (Lowell) goes further. These lilies seem to stare at the one who wants to pluck them. These are the tongues that seem as eyes. Eyes that state: “Take us with you.”


But there is more. It’s also about the moment when the one who plucks these flowers and the end of a life. Anyone knows what eventually plucked flowers will die. But is this really the end? Flowers that are plucked don’t instantly die. Well, only if you don’t take care of them. It resembles the way we treat love. If you don’t give love, the beauty will eventually die. If you don’t take care of the plucked flowers they will also die. However, no matter how good the nurture is: there is always an ending. The composition will go away.


Is the advice that Lowell gave us perhaps that we should only look at the beautiful composition and not take them by force? Perhaps.


Grotesque - Amy Lowell




Why do the lilies goggle their tongues at me

When I pluck them;

And writhe, and twist,

And strangle themselves against my fingers,

So that I can hardly weave the garland

For your hair?

Why do they shriek your name

And spit at me

When I would cluster them?

Must I kill them

To make them lie still,

And send you a wreath of lolling corpses

To turn putrid and soft

On your forehead

While you dance?


Amy Lowell


Flowers and literature

There are many fine examples of poetry that is based on flowers. Flowers are a good metaphor for poets and other writers. That is why we can read many poems and stories that involve flowers. The poem written by Lowell is just one of the many examples. With the exception that it’s just as delicate as the lilies (or any other flower).