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Passions in Poetry

The Rose

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Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea

0 posted 02-09-2000 12:46 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Some time ago, I was in one of my usual tirades against certain words that I think are overused in poetry (the specific word was 'soul'). Now, I've met several people who disagree with me on this and many  people have used the word in some of the most original poetry on the net but Ron asked if 'soul' was really worse than the word 'rose'.  I never got a chance to reply because that thread then turned into an entirely different kind of thing (these things happen). Anyway, here's my reply now.

No, the word 'soul' is not worse than 'rose' but for but both words should be avoided for very different reasons. 'Soul' is often used too  vaguely and seems an attempt to show the deepness of one's feelings without necessarily letting the reader see that deepness through other, more descriptive words.  I think it's cheating. 'Rose' on the other hand has lost it's power through sheer overuse. As the name of a flower, it's certainly not vague but rather uninspiring -- I've read it before.  Furthermore, the use of the rose in romantic relationships has even become outdated.  I can't prove this of course  but I have three or four anecdotal stories to back my case:

1. My wife hates all flowers in general. She just doesn't like the idea of getting flowers that will only die in the long run. On our last anniversary I bought her cacti (not a common plant in Korea) which she takes care of to this day. If you think about it, cacti can be used in poetry with very similar results to that of the rose, thorns and all.

2. On two separate occasions (and in two countries actually), I've given flowers that were not roses and in both cases, I received similar answers. One young lady said, "These are the most beautiful flowers I have ever received" meaning of course that she's received a lot of flowers and the other young lady said, "I get a lot of flowers but these (It was a Bird of Paradise bouquet -- maybe a little strong but she said those were her favorite.) but I really like these."

3. When I actually did give roses (and for those who've read 'Maricel's Graduation', I'm talking about her), she said, "You know, I receive a lot of roses but these are special" and she was still in high school at the time (this was twelve years ago so I'm not a child molester, you see) . In other words, it's the thought that counts, not the actual roses. Ultimately, roses indicate a lack of imagination on the part of the giver and have lost whatever romantic strength they may have had over time.

These are personal experiences and other people may have had different, perhaps even positive, experiences with the rose but if roses don't work in real life, why in the world should we think that they are going to work in poetry.

Just an opinion,

PS Next, I want to talk about the word 'I' and pronouns in general.
White Wolf
since 09-18-99
Posts 384
Somewhere in the vast wastelan

1 posted 02-09-2000 04:42 AM       View Profile for White Wolf   Email White Wolf   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for White Wolf

I agree with the use of the "rose" in poetry may be abit over used but I think that you can still use the word just try to be more original in how you use it.  Second thing is the fact that I very rarely give roses.  When someone recieves a rose from me, they know it is special and that they must be very special to me.  When I do give roses, I try to stay away from the typical red.  I try to go for maybe a lighter red if I can't find a blue one to give.  Yes they do exsist.  I had a plant at one of the places I used to live and the roses were blue.  Anyway as to the word "soul", we can definitly find more creative ways to either use it or even substitute afew lines for it.  And that is about it for now.


 If dying is the process of living life to its end.
Then what is living?

Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 744

2 posted 02-11-2000 05:25 AM       View Profile for Trevor   Email Trevor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trevor

***Note to self: Cancel rose order to girlfriend, change to bonsai tree

Gotta agree with you Brad, although if there are excellent words before and after describing the "soul" originally or "roses" in a way never heard before then I don't mind so much....but how often do you see that ? I'm almost always against cliched words or phrases, some other overused ones I'd like to add to the growing list, "shadows", "eternity", and "love" (who hasn't used that one in a poem??).

The only way I think these cliched words can work in poetry is they are portrayed in a non-stereotypical way so as to make it a little interesting..."The rose drove the car to the shadow market to pick up a box of eternity and a bottle of love"....but then again...maybe we should just forget I wrote that

As far as roses working in real life....dunno, different strokes for different folks, I think some women still like roses (maybe the ones who like the fact that ya just got taken to the cleaners by paying a ridiculous amount for a dozen long stems) however I think a majority might appreciate a more original flower design. I can't remember the last time I sent roses....think it was highschool prom.

Take care,
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