April 13 Poetry: Love Should Grow up LIke a Wild Iris in the Fields by Susan Griffin

I was at a meeting the other day and someone read this poem...apparently I go to a lot of meeting where people read poetry!  I have never heard of this poet before and now, after googling around I feel like should have encountered her before: eco-feminist, author of several books of poetry, doing some cool stuff. 

All in all, this poem is beautiful...the contrast of what love should be and what love is.  I sense in it a sadness about how imperfect love can be, but in myself I find that the beauty of love is that it isn't just the iris in the fields it is in cooking, falling on rugs, and all the day to day.  That's the invitation of life even- to see these moments as love...

I don't know the reference for this poem.  If you do please comment so I can add it.

Love Should Grow up like a Wild Iris in the Fields

Susan Griffin

Love should grow up like a wild iris in the fields,

unexpected, after a terrible storm, opening a purple

mouth to the rain, with not a thought to the future,

ignorant of the grass and the graveyard of leaves

around, forgetting its own beginning. Love should

grow like a wild iris

but does not.

Love more often is to be found in kitchens at the dinner hour,

tired out and hungry, lingers over table in houses where

the walls record movements; while the cook is probably


and the ingredients of the meal are budgeted, while

a child cries feed me now and her mother not quite

hysterical says over and over, wait just a bit, just a bit

love should grow up in the fields like a wild iris

but never does

really startle anyone, was to be expected, was to be

predicted, is almost absurd, goes on from day to day, not


blindly, gets taken to the cleaners every fall, sings old

songs over and over, and falls on the same piece of rug that

never gets tacked down, gives up, wants to hide, is not

brave, knows too much, is not like an

Iris growing wild but more like

staring into space

in the street

not quite sure

which door it was, annoyed about the sidewalk being

Slippery, trying all the doors, thinking

If love wished the world to be well, it would be well.

Love should

grow up like a wild iris, but doesn’t, it come from

the midst of everything else, sees like the iris

of an eye, when the light is right,

feels in blindness and when there is nothing else is

tender, blinks, and opens

face up to the skies.


  1. I wish I could hear someone reading this beautiful poem. I've never heard it read and, although I've tried, I can't get the inflections just right. I imagine a professional actor could do it, but I've looked around online and can't find a spoken word reading of it, not even on youtube.


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