On our last day together, my students gave me flowers.
I’m a practical sort of person and my family usually buy me practical gifts like scarves, running gear or vouchers.
Students often buy a small parting gift such as food or chocolates to share among team members: it’s seen as the right thing to do.
But flowers are more personal, and receiving this lovely bouquet really touched me.
Thinking about flowers got me thinking about flowers in literature. Here are some of my favourite literary references to flowers:
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
Earth laughs in flowers, to see her boastful boys
Earth-proud, proud of the earth which is not theirs;
Who steer the plough, but cannot steer their feet
Clear of the grave.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Song of the Flower XxiiiI am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.