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Poet laureate honours Queen Elizabeth II with new work, Floral Tribute

Simon Armitage’s poem, which spells out the late monarch’s name acrostically, pays homage to ‘a promise made and kept for life’

  • Floral Tribute, a poem for the Queen by Simon Armitage

The poet laureate, Simon Armitage, has released a poem to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Floral Tribute, which has been distributed by Armitage’s publisher, Faber, is a double acrostic, with two verses consisting of nine lines, the first letters of which spell Elizabeth, a nod perhaps to funeral floral arrangements that spell out the deceased person’s name.

The poet directly references himself in the first verse: “I have conjured a lily to light these hours, a token of thanks.” Armitage thanks the Queen for her gift of “a promise made and kept for life” and offers his poem as “a gift in return”.

Wisdom who, with power infinite,
Utterest death to every creature born,
Grant to us now the mercy of Thy light,
With comfort to beloved Queens who mourn.

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