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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

365 Poems: The Language of Flowers

Day 51

Our book for book club this week was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I liked its literary device, using floriography -- the Victorian-era method of sending messages by substituting flowers for words -- as a method of grounding and humanizing the protagonist. The story is told from a rather interesting point of view. Written in the first person by Victoria, she tells her story in parallel: On one track her life as a damaged little girl in the foster-care system; the second, her life as a young woman who's 'aged out' of the system and is trying to make it on her own. So she's kind of the omniscient narrator of her own life. Dysfunction and eventual redemption ensue.

I thought it might be fun to pull a few flowers names and meanings and make a kind of found poem from them. If I were a better graphic artist, I'd make a illustration of all these blooms! First you'll read the list of flowers; next is their meaning, arranged in the same order.

Writing with Flowers

Poinsettia
Peach Blossom
Peach
Eglantine
Dodecatheon
Milkvetch
Night-blooming Cereus
Everlasting Pea
Aster
Angelica
Plane Tree

Be of good cheer;
I am your captive.
Your qualities, like your charms, are unequaled.
Poetry,
You are my divinity;
Your presence softens my pains with
Transient beauty and
Lasting pleasure.
I will think of it --
Inspiration and genius!

Here's the web site from which I drew the flowers and meanings.

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