Thursday, January 11, 2007
One phrase came into my mind when pondering clichés. It was the Shakespeare line “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Since I didn’t feel that I have a serious poem in me at this last minute hour, I thought I would research the use of the rose in poetry. It struck me that the rose in poetry is a cliché in itself, although the poems that started the trend were probably not considered trite when they were written.
As expected a quick internet survey reveals no shortage of poems with roses in them. Here is a selection (excerpted only for space considerations).
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
Shakespeare, Sonnet XCIX
O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
Shakespeare, Sonnet LIV
O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June;
Traditional Scottish tune, preserved by Robert Burns
Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
"CHANGE me, some God, into that breathing rose!"
The love-sick Stripling fancifully sighs,
The envied flower beholding, as it lies
On Laura's breast, in exquisite repose;
Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
T.S.Eliot, Ash Wednesday
If love were what the rose is,
And I were like the leaf,
Our love would grow together,
In sad or sighing weather.
There's sweetness in an apple tree,
And profit in the corn;
But lady of all beauty
Is a rose upon a thorn.
Nobody knows this little Rose --
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it --
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey --
On its breast to lie --
Only a Bird will wonder --
Only a Breeze will sigh --
Ah Little Rose -- how easy
For such as thee to die!
So here I stand daring not to brave the wild and woolly, tempest toss’d, wond’rous universe, the poet’s muse and the lion’s fearsome breast. Alas and woe it is not for me to rush hell-bent into the fray and tempt the fates by throwing my hat into the ring and writing a rhyme of roses.
Posted by sarala at 11:07 PM