Sanguine and World Without End

sanguine postcards

Remember my post from earlier in December on ‘sanguine’?  Here’re three interpretations of our Virginia Consortium of Quilters 2007 fall fabric postcard swap theme. 

The first one shown above, by Sherry Whitford, has the following information on the back: “Sanguine indicates the personality of an individual with the temperment of blood and the season of Spring (wet and hot) and the classical element of air.  A person who is sanguine is generally optimistic, cheerful, confident, popular and fun loving.  He/She can be day-dreamy and off-task to the point of not accomplishing anyting and can be impulsive, possibly acting on whims in an unpredictable fashion.  Sanguine people usually have a lot of energy but have a problem finding a way to direct the energy.  This also describes the manic phase of bipolar disorder.” 

The second postcard is my design, created using a hand-carved stamp.  I stuggled with the conceptual definitions of sanguine, and went with the more concrete ‘a drawing in red crayon, red chalk, or the like.’

The third example shown above, by Susan Price, combines the color of sanguine with the strong, reddish orange of the poppy, and has on the back the following verses from a poem by Francis Thompson:

Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there:
Like a yawn of fire from the grass it came,
And the fanning wind puffed it to flapping flame.

With burnt mouth, red like a lion’s, it drank
The blood of the sun as he slaughtered sank,
And dipped its cup in the purpurate shine
When the Eastern conduits ran with wine.

(for complete poem, see

The lines bring to mind fields of poppies blanketing the war dead in Normandy, however Thompson died in 1907 so the reference is more likely tied to his opium addition.  For more info on Thompson, see 

In thinking about sanguine, and seeing what my postie buddies have come up with so far, I find myself focusing on blood and it’s importance to health – to be full of blood, ruddy, is to be healthy with the optimism that comes from that well being. 

I’ve been reading Ken Follett’s new book, World Without End, which has health as a central theme.  The story unfolds in the mid 1300’s in a small village in England and follows the physical, political, economic, and mental growth of the characters, one of which is the town of Kingsbridge itself. 


One response to “Sanguine and World Without End

  1. what a great poppy poem! and i like your castle – btw, whit is interested in felting, if you have any links for her about what you taught me when we embellished that beret a while back (I gave it to her).

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