Ode To The Rose
The queen of flowers, is undoubtedly globally synonymous with love and romance. Across all continents the gift of a single red rose means ‘I love you’, if your cultures or language may differ one can communicate through flowers. This form of communication has been used for many centuries and is often still used today, when words fail just say it with flowers. Myths and legends can help to explain the relationship between roses and love. In ancient Greece it was believed the rose was created by Chloris, the greek goddess of flowers. After discovering a lifeless body of a nymph in a woodland, Chloris sought assistance from the other gods to create a new life form. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, gave her beauty; Dionysus, the god of wine, added nectar to give her a sweet scent, and the three Graces gave her charm, brightness and joy. While Zephyr, the West Wind, blew away the clouds so that Apollo, the sun god, could shine and make the flower bloom. Hereafter, the ancient greeks saw the rose as a symbol of love, beauty and happiness.
The ancient Romans associated roses with Venus, the goddesses of love. Cupid, the son of Venus was stung by a bee when shooting arrows into a garden of white roses. When Venus was walking in the garden, she pricked her foot on a thorn left by her son and turned the roses red. In ancient Rome, a wild rose would be placed outside the door of where secret or confidential matters were being discussed. The latin expression ‘ sub rosa’ or ‘under the rose’, meaning to keep a secret, comes from this ancient Roman practice. One of our favourite and probably the most romantic myth comes from the Arabic legend. The story states that all roses were originally white until a nightingale fell in love with a beautiful rose, also at this time the nightingale was not known as a songbird, it only croaked and chirped. However, its intense love for the rose inspired it to sing for the first time; one day it leaned it too closely and its heart was pricked by a thorn, colouring the roses red forever.
A red rose conveys deep emotions and true love. The Scottish poet, Robert Burns compares his love to the delicate bloom in his famous poem and song - A Red, Red Rose. However, other hues of roses are connected with emotions and each have their own significant meanings. A white rose is the symbol of purity and innocence, this association is often the reason they’re used for bridal bouquets. While an ivory rose represents charm and thoughtfulness, making them perfect for showing a friend how much you care. Pink roses are associated with elegance and femininity, a light pink shade means sweetness and innocence, a dark shade expressed gratitude and appreciation. A peach hue represents modesty and gratitude, which makes them an ideal elegant thank you gift. The orange rose is the wild card, blending the friendly connotations of the yellow rose and the true love of a red rose, reflecting passion and enthusiasm. For those wishing to express love at first sight, a lavender rose is the perfect way to show enchantment and the desire grow a relationship.
Even in literature, the strong bond between the rose and love features in many works. The English playwright Shakespeare often used the rose to symbolise love through the beauty of the flower and pain or heartbreak via the thorns. Romeo and Juliet, features one of Shakespeare’s most famous references to the rose, the tale of forbidden love creates a metaphor of a rose to convey Juliet’s deep love for Romeo.
“What’s in a name?
A rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”
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