NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 11

Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash


Today’s prompt “is based on the concept of the language of flowers. Have you ever heard, for example, that yellow roses stand for friendship, white roses for innocence, and red roses for love? Well, there are as many potential meanings for flowers as there are flowers. The Victorians were particularly ga-ga for giving each other bouquets that were essentially decoder-rings of meaning. For today, I challenge you to write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings. And if you’re having trouble getting started, why not take a gander at this glossary of flower meanings? (You can find a plain-text version here). Feel free to make use of these existing meanings, or make up your own.” ~ NaPoWriMo, Day 11

A breath of fresh air, this prompt. I perused the glossary, but in the end stayed with the flower that came to me instantaneously, even though it has accumulated so much symbolism over the centuries. I thought of some new meanings with the help of Gertrude Stein, to whom I owe the last line of this poem.

PS–Most of the poems written this April will remain online for up to five days, after which they will be replaced by an excerpt, an erasure, or a thoroughly amateurish art piece that will only allow for bits of the original poem to peek through. At least, this is the plan. The reason being that, at some point, in the hopefully not too distant future, these drafts will undergo revision and begin their multiple-year pilgrimage through the slush piles of many a literary journal. So help me, O Muse.

PPS–Five days have passed and the original draft has been replaced by an erasure, with the help of the seashell angels and their guests.

Poetry from the trenches, Day 11




10 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 11

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  1. Nice work playin wid dem roses, RI. This one’s definitely a publication candidate. I always take most of mine down, too, early in May and have had considerable luck, over the years, having a decent number of revisions/reworking published. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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