Some themes are popular throughout literary forms. Love, for example, is pressed into service across the board: novels, poetry, plays, song lyrics, film scripts.  I would guess that when sermons were an important literary form that love was a popular subject there too. From the poems of Sappho, through Romeo and Juliet, right through to Ordinary People, love will find a way whatever type of literature we look at.

Flowers aren’t like that. In fact, as themes go, they blossom at quite the other end of the spectrum. There are almost no novels, or plays about flowers. Oh, they might put in a fleeting appearance at the end of Chapter Seven. Kiera Knightly might cut some roses, briefly, in a Pride and Prejudice adaptation, but these scenes aren’t about flowers. There is a well received book called The Language of Flowers (Vanessa Diffenbaugh 2011) about a florist, but flower books, films, plays and (I am guessing again) sermons, are very thin on the ground.

Poems about flowers, on the other hand, are absolutely legion. Many of our old friends at writers have penned flower poems: Robert Frost, Blake, Dylan Thomas; Emily Dickinson predictably wrote lots. Wordsworth is famous for his daffodils and Coleridge penned a flower poem or two too.

But I wanted to look at someone we have not featured before: Wendy Cope

7 thoughts on “Flowers

  1. Flowers

    The lady knocked on my front door
    She was holding a bouquet of flowers
    She offered her condolences as
    She had heard that my husband had died
    I had never met her
    Apparently she lives higher up the village
    I was taken aback but
    I appreciated the gesture

    Whenever a friend calls she brings freezias
    She knows that freezias were our flowers
    Especially the yellow ones
    The gentle scent permeates the porch so
    That every time I go out there
    I am met with their gentle fragrance

    In my younger days while living in a Polish community
    For people’s birthdays and name days
    People always brought flowers
    Name days were generally known unlike birthdays

    We did not put flowers on the grave
    My daughter did not like cut flowers
    But we planted bulbs daffodils and snowdrops
    They come up in early spring

    There are many wild flowers on our walks
    In the spring the primroses and
    The gorse bushes in yellow
    Now in summer the bluebells and
    Marsh marigolds in the ditches

    Verges full of buttercups and pink cuckoo flowers
    Lovely wild purple orchids are appearing in the grass
    Huge mauve flowering rhododendrons
    Wild roses Rosa rugosa bushes
    With white floppy flowers
    Which my ducks love to eat

    The large white snowdrops which I planted
    Have bravely stood up to the wind and rain
    Standing as a memorial beneath the kitchen window



  2. Two Haikus

    Late Spring heart heavy
    I turn and am greeted by
    Ditsy floral view

    Little Bernera
    Majestical island gem
    Timeless memories



  3. The Wild Flowers

    You don’t know, do you?
    Just what you did for me.
    Sweet scent.
    Lifting my mind
    Colour blessing my vision.
    Crimson petals
    Golden pollen, dust.
    I only walked by briefly
    Head down
    Shoulders hunched
    Feet flopping.
    Yet you picked me up, effortlessly.
    Deep rooted
    Out of sight.
    Breaking through clod
    To give out your light.
    You don’t know what you did for me, do you?
    Yet maybe you do.

    Cathy xx


  4. Flowers
    By Mairi Cable.

    I like flowers but I do not get them very often so when I do it is rather special. Sometime ago at Christmas Sarah sent me some flowers through the post. They were extra special, they filled two vases and made me feel like the queen. They always make me feel like a Lady. I make them last about a fortnight before I throw them out. Sarah also gave me a bouquet of lilies before she left the last time, when she was home for Christmas. The sent of the lilies was truly wonderful. And they lasted a while too.
    Angus sent me a beautiful bouquet of various flowers, mainly yellow from the Willowglen Garden Centre and they also filled two vases. They made me fell he was looking out for me during the pandemic. They made me feel like the queen and so grateful.


  5. Flowers

    Its the end of June
    And all the flowers should be in bloom,
    But the cold wind damages the leaves.
    So you move them to a different spot
    To see if makes them get quite hot.

    A bouquet of Flowers will just have to do,
    Lilly’s are my favourite,
    And are spectacular when in bloom,
    Pink, white, and Green I love them all,
    But they make a mess when the leaves
    Start to fall

    The pinks and purples are at the front door,
    And they are all flowering away galore,
    But what we need is the sun,
    And the bumble bees start to pollinate,
    But we should be glad to see the flowers
    And count ourselves very fortunate.

    by Donna Keenan

    Liked by 1 person

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