Verse: From Lloyd Austin’s Contest

From Lloyd Austin’s Rainbow Offerings catalog for 1951:

“To help us all to occaisionally get away from the material realities of life, let us give thought to the poetic expression of spiritual beauty of an Iris, or of many Iris. Surely the Iris, the Rainbow Flower, is as deserving as any flower of delightful verse to convey to others the ramblings of our imagination as we view the many inexplicable blendings of color.”

Mr. Austin then went on to explain his offer of an iris contest and the rules for entry, with the prize to be $10 worth of irises for first place and $5 worth for second. In 1952’s catalog the following two poems were listed as the winners.

A Secret (1st prize)

From a rain-drenched sky a rainbow
Kissed an Iris field goodbye,
And the Iris shared the glory
Of the rainbow in the sky.

So now they smile a greeting
And a kiss to say goodbye,
For the floor of the sky is earthly
And the roof of the earth is sky.

– Elizabeth C. Butterway

To Iris With Love (2nd Prize)

Softly singing seranader,
Merry making masquerader,
Lovely Iris, rainbow flower,
Child of sunshine and of flower,
Message bearer from the sky,
Speaking to my heart and eye,
From the sky above you drew
Fairy form and shining hue –
Easter Sunrise, Morning Blue,
Autumn Sunset, Nightfall too;
And from Heaven’s gracious King
Is the joy and peace you bring.

– Lillian Gardner