Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flower Study (vanitas) 1/25/11

Victorian mourning card from my collection

"The art and jewelry of the Victorian era was heavily laden with images of symbolism. By understanding the symbolic meaning of various flowers, gem stones, tombstones, and other objects, we are better able to interpret the important intended messages of the items.

The "language of flowers" symbolized love, devotion, adoration and other cherished thought in the sentimental Victorian era. Flowers and leaves were the chief symbols used to decorate Victorian jewelry. This was also a reflection of their love of all things outdoors and having to do with nature."
The daffodil symbolized regard:

page from The Language of Flowers by Margaret Pickston © 1968

Kym Hepworth, melancholy daffodil

Kym Hepworth, daffodil in mourning


The Widow's Lament in Springtime

Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.
Thirtyfive years
I lived with my husband.
The plumtree is white today
with masses of flowers.
Masses of flowers
load the cherry branches
and color some bushes
yellow and some red
but the grief in my heart
is stronger than they
for though they were my joy
formerly, today I notice them
and turn away forgetting.
Today my son told me
that in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.
I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.

- William Carlos Williams


Kym Hepworth, rise!

(Source for quote: Fashionable Mourning Jewelry, Clothing & Customs by Mary Brett, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA © 2006; Source for poem: William Carlos Williams: Selected Poems, edited with an introduction by Charles Tomlinson, published by New Directions Publishing Corporation, New York © 1985)

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