Joyce Carol Oates says:


“In love there
are two things –
— bodies and words. ”


Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff says:

” Be no longer tender.

Cover me with frenzied kisses,
— even as I would drench my
body in the cruel torrents of
the rain.

Envelop me from throat to
ankle in delirium intolerable…. “

The Secret Language of Flowers

” I am the rose of Sharon,
and the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns,
so is my love among the
daughters. As the apple tree
among the trees of the wood,
so is my beloved among
the sons. I sat down under
his shadow with great delight,
and his fruit was sweet to my taste. “
— Song of Songs 2: 1-3.


the symbolic language
of flowers.

Quite aside from the very
specific language of roses
that many of us still use
today (see my post here ) ,
the secret language of flowers
has a long and fabled history –
— going back to biblical times.

Shakespeare and the
Bronte sisters used it often.

For instance,
the laurel has long
been seen as an
emblem of glory,
the oak, of patriotism;
the bay, the poet’s crown,
and daisy, of innocence.

Europeans of the
eighteenth century
experienced a revival/
standardization of the
earlier traditions,
especially in France,
and later Victorians
became particularly
fond of using it.

It gave people of
those eras an
opportunity to
express themselves
without being
limited by the very specific
and stodgy rules about
verbal romantic communication
especially between the sexes.

To Victorians, there was
a vast repository of flowers
and emotive meanings
from which to choose–

— from simple friendship,
innocent flirting,
to suggesting dalliances
and full bloom engagements.

Flowers could ask questions
or make statements, express
gratitude, impatience,
or even curiosity.

It was believed flowers
could bring even
the coldest heart
to blossom into
floriferous ardor.

pedantic, ain’t I ?

Well, so is this
whole secret
language of flowers.

In the United States,
there were also
several very popular
floral dictionaries,
( like ” Flora’s Interpreter”
and The Flowers Personified”)
in print around mid century
1800’s, and those guides are
still considered by experts
as definitive on the subject.

Interestingly enough,
the sexual revolution
of the 1960’s has also
caused a renewal of
interest in the
of flowers —

— wearing a particular
kind of flower,
sending one –
or leaving one at
a table or at the bar,
can be used as a very
subtle signal to those
in the know of a
person’s particular
preferences and
peccadilloes, if you will.

Tomorrow, we’ll
feature some of those.

But it just goes to show you
that floriography is not a
dead language, at all —

— it’s growing and changing,
and adapting as
flowers themselves do.


!!!! HOY !!!!