Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has marked Queen Elizabeth’s death with a touching poem.
The 59-year-old writer paid his respects to the late monarch - who died at Balmoral on Thursday (08.09.2022) aged 96 - by penning ‘Floral Tribute’ using the metaphor of the lily of the valley, one of Her Majesty’s favourite flowers which was used in her coronation bouquet in 1952.
The first letters of each line of the acrostic poem spells out her first name, and Simon explained to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he attempted to be “personal and write a poem of condolence without being intrusive”.
The two-versed poem details the onset of a September evening and calls the arrival of the lily “a token of thanks”.
Describing why he opted for a double acrostic format to spell her name, Simon said: "It's a lovely name but a name she probably rarely got to hear very much because everybody had to preface that with ceremonial nominals."
He added the poem was a chance to create something "outside of the language and commentaries we've already heard".
Tributes have poured in for the Queen following her passing after seven decades on the throne.
On Monday (12.09.2022), her grandson Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, 3x, noted her “unwavering grace” and “everlasting legacy” and explained he took solace that she was “reunited” with his grandfather, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April 21 at the age of 99.
Harry said: "In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen—and in mourning her loss—we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty. She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy."
Floral Tribute by Simon Armitage:
Evening will come, however determined the late afternoon,
Limes and oaks in their last green flush, pearled in September mist.
I have conjured a lily to light these hours, a token of thanks,
Zones and auras of soft glare framing the brilliant globes.
A promise made and kept for life - that was your gift -
Because of which, here is a gift in return, glovewort to some,
Each shining bonnet guarded by stern lance-like leaves.
The country loaded its whole self into your slender hands,
Hands that can rest, now, relieved of a century's weight.
Evening has come. Rain on the black lochs and dark Munros.
Lily of the Valley, a namesake almost, a favourite flower
Interlaced with your famous bouquets, the restrained
Zeal and forceful grace of its lanterns, each inflorescence
A silent bell disguising a singular voice. A blurred new day
Breaks uncrowned on remote peaks and public parks, and
Everything turns on these luminous petals and deep roots,
This lily that thrives between spire and tree, whose brightness
Holds and glows beyond the life and border of its bloom.