Garden of Reminders

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics:  The Language of Flowers
(posted by SarahSouthwest)

“Flowers are your friends here! The language of flowers was a positive craze in the 19th Century – though flowers have always had a language of their own.

Once you know about this secret language, you can look at many pieces of 19th century art and try and work out the flower references. The pre-Raphaelites seem to have been particularly keen on all of this. Spot the poppies? and the foxgloves? Rossetti is telling us that Lilith is one dodgy lady.

We still have remnants of all this today. You can read about the symbolism of Kate Middleton’s bouquet here: There’s a reason why brides wear orange blossom (“woman’s worth”), and why we give red roses on Valentine’s Day (love). And everybody knows that white heather is for luck.


Image found on Wikipedia

Bluebells rang, sang out
good morning. She counts
on them to greet her
each day. They seem
the only constant in her life.

The cad had wooed her
with purple 
lilacs; she believed
in his 
love, returning same,
Now bereft, she thinks
of her sweet William.

Oh, how she misses his smile.
Alas, that was miles in
the past. If he would
but grace 
her door once
more, she would wear

orange blossoms in her hair, be
worthy of his love at last.
She should have heeded
the wise plum tree; she should
have kept her promise.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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14 Responses to Garden of Reminders

  1. rothpoetry says:

    A very nice use of flower meaning. Love the sad story. Perhaps she should have given him a yellow rose!


  2. Lots of sad stories this week – I think it’s that Victorian romantic thing – this is lovely, great use of the flowers and thir different meanings. I love the double layering that gives. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Love the story woven in your words.


  4. I love this sad poem… the end full of regret particularly


  5. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice use of those flowers. I like the idea of heeding the advice of trees.


  6. Grace says:

    Love how you weave the different flowers and their meanings to her story ~ Hope she can be be worthy of the love that is true and lasting someday~


  7. lillian says:

    Perfect perfect perfect! You’ve woven the flowers into a wonderful Victorian tale! 🙂


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