Hawthorn, sex and death

It is taboo to bring hawthorn blossom into the house. Robin Robertson’s wickedly wry poem ‘During dinner’ explores enough of the tree’s folklore connotations of sex and death to cause embarrassment at a polite supper party. Under a hawthorn tree, this afternoon, these just generated a lot of good laughs!

We explored the magic spells and stories of this mystical tree, which seemed a fitting way to pass a scorching afternoon in the cool, shady part of the Botanics where the fairies live ( they do, there are doors in the trees where they stay!)

Other poems about hawthorn included my own about the one tree that clings to a crag on the croft, more sea-stressed Hawthorns from Fiona Wilson, Colin Will’s botanically precise Crataegus monogyna, Stephanie Green’s H, Charles Causley’s Hawthorn White, Judith Wright’s Hawthorn Hedge and Sandor Weores’ Hawthorn (strangely flowering in an autumn night, though sometimes they do flower more than once a year).

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