A wall of delicate-color’d blossoms with the perfume strong I love

lilacs close

The end of May speaks in purple blossoms heavy with sweet scent: Lilacs bloom this time of year, and I love them.

I distinctly remember the lilac bushes in the alley of the home in which I grew up. One May afternoon when I was about 14, I grudgingly performed the chore of taking out the garbage and, to my delight, discovered the aromatic flowers crowding out the scent of potato peels in the garbage can. Being the trash man that day was a gift.

lilacs far awayI encountered a glorious wall of lilac bushes earlier this week and discovered it was part of a lilac “fence” all the way around someone’s yard. Surely this homeowner feels as I do about this time of year.

In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the
white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped
leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with
the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle — and from this bush in the
dooryard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped
leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break.

~ from Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs
Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

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