Monday, January 12, 2009

Earth Laughs in Flowers

After a series of gray days, beautiful in their understated way, but still gray, I find myself ready for color. A closeup shot of a primrose as 'wallpaper' on my laptop was a nice change from the snow scene I'd had there -- and the misty day outside. So I'm posting a few of last year's flowers as a reminder that, yes, the days are beginning to lengthen, just a little, and there will be flowers again.

I've always loved the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Earth laughs in flowers" but had never traced down the rest of it. Here it is:

"Earth laughs in flowers to see her boastful boys
Earth-proud, proud of the earth which is not theirs;
Who steer the plow but cannot steer their feet
Clear of the grave."

Yikes! That little poem, beginning with such a lovely line -- a phrase that has embellished many a garden plaque, mug, or tee shirt -- sure takes a nasty turn.

Gives a whole new meaning to to 'floral tributes' at a funeral -- are those stiff carnations and gladioli earth's last laugh?

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Virginia Walton Pilegard said...

I had an “Earth Laughs” plaque once. Now I must go out and check to see if my daffodils are snickering every time I sneeze. Have you noticed the same quotation is attributed to e.e. cummings? Maybe his take wasn't quite so dark but I wonder if e.e. knew he was "borrowing" from Emerson?

Vicki Lane said...

A scary thought -- those little monsters!

Didn't know about the cummings connection.