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flowers from Montgomery's scrapbooks

Montgomery loved color. She remarked to her Scottish pen-pal George Boyd MacMillan in 1905: "Everybody likes color; with me it is a passion. . . . Everything you can say of music I can say of color. . . . On my table is a color effect of yellow California poppies that makes me dizzy with delight every time I look at it" (MDMM,13-14). The descriptions in Montgomery's novels and poems are filled with rich colors, many of them offered in terms of flowers. The first time Anne Shirley sees the Lake of Shining Waters in Anne of Green Gables, for example, the narrator says that the water has "the most spiritual shadings of crocus and rose and ethereal green, with other elusive tintings for which no name has ever been found" (AGG, 21).poem, flower souvenirs from scrapbooks

The early scrapbooks are filled with flowers, some colorful cut-outs and many pressed ones. Flowers serve as decoration for the pages, reminders of fun, and as special souvenirs that mark high occasions. It seems fitting that the poem that captured the spirit of the young Maud's ambitions, and served as the motto for her autobiographical Emily as well as for her own autobiographical "Alpine Path" story of her career in 1917, is a poem written about a flower, "The Fringed Gentian." The last stanza of that poem, an apostrophe to the flower, is what Montgomery described as "the key-note of my every aim and ambition":

Then whisper, blossom, in thy sleep
          How I may upward climb
The Alpine path, so hard, so steep,
          That leads to heights sublime;
How I may reach that far-off goal
          Of true and honoured fame,
And write upon its shining scroll
          A woman's humble name. (The Alpine Path, 10)

go to LM Montgomery Institute at UPEI Website go to University of Guelph Website go to Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace Website go to Virtual Museum of Canada Website go to Confederation Centre of the Arts Website go to National Library of Canada Website go to English Home Page go to French Homepage pressed flowers on card Fringed Gentian poem pressed flowers on card pressed flowers on card