Tag Archives: William Wordsworth

June in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia–Beth Trissel

*Lovely images by daughter Elise Trissel.

Abraham Darby

“A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.”  ~The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams

“Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers?”  ~Maurice Maeterlinck “Flowers really do intoxicate me.”  ~Vita Sackville-West

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.”  ~Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers

wild ox eye daisies“The poet’s darling.”  ~William Wordsworth, “To the Daisy”

“The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.  Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.”  ~Auguste Rodin

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  ~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains:  The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

poppies“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.”
~Francis Thompson, “The Poppy,” 1891

“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.”  ~Standing Bear

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.”  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  ~e.e. cummings

wild wood's phlox“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”  ~John Muir

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” ~Jane Austen

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.  This is not done by jostling in the street.”  ~William Blake

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”  ~William Shakespeare

Abraham Darby Roses, Ox Eye Daisies, Shirley Poppies,  wild Phlox

Sleep or the Lack of it–Quotes and Witty Commentary–Beth Trissel

No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.  ~Carrie Snow
*This is so true. The world would be a far better place if everyone took a nap.
“Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.”  ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002
*Amen to that.
“Early to rise and early to bed
Makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.”
~James Thurber, Fables for Our Times, 1940
*Gotta love Thurber.
“And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.”
~D.H. Lawrence
*Beautifully said, D.H.
“There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.”  ~Author Unknown
*Or barking dogs.
However, cats are great nappers. Kitty Pavel snoozing in a sunbeam.
“Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet’s, pee on your owner.” – Gary Smith
*But, of course! Most sensible creatures.
“Most people do not consider dawn to be an attractive experience – unless they are still up.”  ~Ellen Goodman
“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.” ~E. Joseph Cossman
*Ah, the wisdom in this.
“Many things – such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly – are done worst when we try hardest to do them.”  ~C.S. Lewis
*I love CS Lewis!~
“Dawn:  When men of reason go to bed.” ~Ambrose Bierce
*That would not be me.
“There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.”  ~Edward Lucas
*I’m sure of this, even though I rarely drink any.
“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.”  ~Leo J. Burke
*And to that I add, or a new puppy. My daughter’s soft-coated Wheaton Terrier, Grady, in a calmer mode as a pup. Normally these dogs act like they’ve been shot out of guns much of the time for the first two years. But very loving!
“Consciousness:  that annoying time between naps.”  ~Author Unknown
*Clearly a big napper. Cheers!
“The days are cold, the nights are long,
The North wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,
Save thee, my pretty love!”
~Dorothy Wordsworth, “The Cottager to Her Infant”
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.  ~Irish Proverb
Ah, the wisdom of the Irish.
“A day without a nap is like a cupcake without frosting.”  ~Terri Guillemets
*Granddaughter Emma Rose as a baby snoozing alongside our pom poo Sadie Sue.
“There is a drowsy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsciousness.” ~Charles Dickens
*I totally agree with this, get some of my best writing done then.
“What hath night to do with sleep?”  ~John Milton
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”  ~Anthony Burgess
*Or get prodded a lot if you’re my hubby.
Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.  ~Author Unknown
Coffee, anyone?
“A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky –
I’ve thought of all by turns, and still I lie
Sleepless…” ~William Wordsworth, “To Sleep”
***Because he’s not a cat. Pavel in pic again. Kitty Images by daughter Elise.
If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he’d make a fortune.  ~Griff Niblack
“People who snore always fall asleep first.” ~Author Unknown
***Oh yes. Every time.
“When I want to go to sleep, I must first get a whole menagerie of voices to shut up. You wouldn’t believe what a racket they make in my room.”~Karl Kraus, translated from German by Harry Zohn
*Actually, I would. They’re in my head too.  Noisy bunch. And weird. Say the craziest stuff.
“Sometimes I sit up late with my thoughts, reluctant to fall asleep and leave my thoughts alone by themselves.”  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
*Me too. Niece Cailin and Pavel napping together.
“How do people go to sleep?  I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack.  I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light.  I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.”  ~Dorothy Parker
*I loved this one! Love her.
“O bed! O bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.”
~Thomas HoodMiss Kilmansegg – Her Dream
“The feeling of sleepiness when you are not in bed, and can’t get there, is the meanest feeling in the world.”  ~Edgar Watson Howe
*Oh man, he’s got that right.
“The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”  ~Leonard Cohen
“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying.  It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.”  ~Dale Carnegie
*True, true. He would know.
Don’t fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.”
~Edmund Vance Cooke
*Excellent advice. For that, some of us need medication.
Sweet dreams all!

Great Writing Quotes–With Fabulous Commentary and Pics!

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~E.L. Doctorow

Although it worries my mother when I say I’m talking amongst myselves….

*Image of me writing surrounded by grandbabies.

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”  ~Franz Kafka

Well that’s cheery, Franz, and why writers surround themselves with cats, keep pouring those heartening cups of coffee or hot tea, dive into chocolate, light candles, play our favorite music… sneak back online.  Again.

I especially like this quote:  “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~W. Somerset Maugham English dramatist & novelist (1874 – 1965)

A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.”  ~Charles Peguy

 I compare capturing just the right word to netting butterflies before they soar away.  Words flee my thoughts just as swiftly if I don’t snag them.

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath

Amen to this Sylvia.

Although I must add there’s a difference between courage and writing about the worst life has to offer and calling it art.

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  ~Toni Morrison

I actually do, do this in my writing.

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.”  ~Sharon O’Brien

This is true as long as I am writing what I WANT.  Not what I think may sell.  And considering my sales of late, I must be in the minority about what’s popular.

Publication – is the auction of the Mind of Man.”  ~Emily Dickinson

And it’s going too cheap these days.  Not all books can sell for .99 on kindle or be free.  Assuming the author wants to eat.

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”  ~Mark Twain

I love Mark Twain, who, BTW, is an ancestor on my father’s side.

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”  ~James Michener

I can and do rewrite interminably.

“The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend.”  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Now, it’s the delete key on my laptop, but I remember the days of handwriting everything in ink and using whiteout until the pages were stiff with the stuff, then I’d crumple and throw until a pile accumulated around me and my faithful furry writing companions, both feline and canine.  As I write this there’s a small dog snoozing on one side, a large tabby purring under my arm and a playful kitten trying to get a rise out of someone.  To no avail.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  ~William Wordsworth

Trust Wordsworth to come up with something  this lovely and poetic.  And to him I reply, I do!

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”  ~Vladimir Nabakov

What an optimist.  Face it, to most writers blank pages are scary.  Sit there leering at us and must be filled with something, anything, as fast as possible.  One can always edit something, but not nothing.

And similarly a quote by James Thurber: “Don’t get it right, just get it written.”

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

He sure knew what he was talking about.

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air.  All I must do is find it, and copy it.”  ~Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895

Heck, I’ve got a number of those floating around.  Not terribly marketable in that form though.

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.  ~Karl Kraus

Yes, there’s a lot of Yoda in writers.  We’re all striving to be Jedi’s.

“Size matters not.  Look at me.  Judge me by size, do you?” ~Yoda

“Do, or do not.  There is no try.” ~Yoda

And very apt for writing as well as training to be a Jedi.

“Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong.” ~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com

*Mine too.

“I love being a writer.  What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”  ~Peter De Vries

Or all the promo he probably didn’t have to deal with.

“A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.” ~Mignon McLaughlinThe Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Ah yes, there are times I wonder if the reviewer read the same book I wrote.   Other times, I delight that they totally got my story.

“I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.” ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University

This could have been said of me who got a D in a college class called The Novel.

“Most editors are failed writers – but so are most writers.”  ~T.S. Eliot

“For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain [and] the noise of battle.”  ~John Cheever

And all that other good stuff, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling…the five senses.  I also like to include the sixth.

“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”  ~Elmore Leonard

Oh gosh, me too.  Most people are probably skipping this post.

Write down the thoughts of the moment.  Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.  ~Francis Bacon

And this, dear readers, is the essence of my writing.  I am not a PLOTTER.

“Every writer I know has trouble writing.”  ~Joseph Heller

“Writer’s block is a disease for which there is no cure, only respite.”  ~Terri Guillemets

“When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

“A good style should show no signs of effort.  What is written should seem a happy accident.” ~W. Somerset Maugham, Summing Up, 1938

With these quotes I am in utter agreement.

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.”
~Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)

I suppose it’s sour grapes to point out that Carroll was an opium addict.  However, opium alone cannot make you brilliant so I still have to give him that.

“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”  ~Lord Byron

Many writers are slightly mad.  I have a theory about writers, those who are on medication and those who should be.  I am.

“All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love Emerson.  And to this I say, let’s steal them back.

“What no wife (*spouse) of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.”  ~Burton Rascoe

I spend a great deal of my writing in these sorts of thinking times.

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”  ~Agatha Christie

Which also ties into the above quote, those vital pondering moments.

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”  ~Saul Bellow

“It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”  ~Sinclair Lewis

And to all fellow writers I say, may the muse be with you.  And where would we be without the story tellers?  Now go snag those butterflies!

Dragon Wings, Fairy Dust, and Other Childhood Whimsies

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” ~Elizabeth Lawrence 

*Image of my grandson Colin and grandbaby Chloe taken by their mother, my older daughter Alison who is also a very good photographer

When I was a child, I badly wanted to fly.  After a Sunday School lesson on faith moving mountains I summoned up all my faith and jumped off a large boulder in the Smokies.  Fortunately I landed on a grassy spot–had to rethink my position on exactly what qualified for doing under the faith thing.  I was ten and probably should have known better but was a highly imaginative, some might say strange child.  Of course, many children have sought to fly.  If I’d had fairy (or pixie) dust I would have dusted myself with sparkles, being very taken with the tale of Peter Pan.

The latest member of our family to be fixated on flight is my grandson Colin, always worrying us with his antics while amusing us with his whimsies.  Another imaginative child, also rather a daredevil and one to keep a close eye on and send up frequent prayers for.  He knows he makes me ‘nervous’ used to be pronounced ‘ervous.’

Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.
~William Wordsworth, “To a Butterfly”

A recent conversation between Colin and his mom, Alison, on a familiar theme:

Colin:  “I’m finking about dragon wings.”

Alison: “Why?”

Colin: “To make for me.”

Alison: “Oh, to wear for Halloween?”

Colin: “No, for flying.”

Alison: “Colin, again, even IF we made you dragon wings, you still couldn’t fly.  Boys can’t fly ever at all.  What would happen?”

Colin repeats what she’s taught him.  “I would fall wike a rock.”

Alison says, ‘Boys being able to fly is something we’ve had many an argument  about, ever since Colin could speak in sentences.  “Boys tend to fly on the couch.  They just put their arms out and they tend to fly.”  He’s always trying to think of some sort of way to make it possible.  He’s thought of making bird wings and jumping off the deck.  “I would soar wike an eagle!!” he declared.

His mom: “You would fall like a rock.  Boys can’t fly.”

Ah, but somehow, someway…boys keep trying.

*Image of Alison and Colin looking down from their deck where they have these sorts of conversations, although they can take place anywhere.  He’d also very much like to have a real Spiderman action figure that shoots out REAL webs, we suspect to use for flying.

“Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” ~John Betjeman, Summoned by Bells

“Every spring is the only spring-a perpetual astonishment.”~Ellis Peters

“Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, “An Easter Hymn”

*The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  Photographs by my mom, Pat Churchman

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”  ~Hal Borland

“Where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing.”
~Albert Laighton

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant

*Virginia Bluebells in my garden, flowers given to me by my grandmother.

“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”  ~Edward Giobbi

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.”
~Robert Frost

*Poppies and iris in the garden.

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”  ~William Shakespeare

“Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!”
~L.H. Bailey

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”  ~Nadine Stair

*Country Lane in the valley.

“Spring in verses,
Verses in spring.”
~Violet Gartenlicht

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”  ~Virgil

*A country roadside not far from our farm.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”
~Bern Williams

“Spring is when life’s alive in everything.”
~Christina Rossetti

“The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven–
All’s right with the world!”
~Robert Browning

*My parent’s yard.

“A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.”
~Emily Dickinson

“Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.”
~Bishop Reginald Heber

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.”
~William Wordsworth

“It Is At the Edge Of A Petal That Love Waits.”~ William Carlos William

Heartsease (Violas):

Pansies and violas grow even better when planted late summer, often blooming well into fall, sporadically through winter, and bursting forth in spring.

“Who are the violets now
That strew the lap of the new-come spring?” ~ Shakespeare: Richard II

“Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you. “ ~Edward Payson Rod

“I pray, what flowers are these? The pansy this, O, that’s for lover’s thoughts. ” ~George Chapman

The modern day pansies are descendants of the wild viola tricolor also called heartsease. There are many nicknames for this plant that include: love-in-idleness, call-me-to-you, three-faces-under-a-hood, godfathers and godmothers, flower o’luce, banwort, jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me. We have always called the smaller violas johnny-jump-ups.

Violas, violets, and pansies are my absolute all time favorite flowers.  Though admittedly, I have many favorites.  I often start violas and pansies from seed because I can get more varieties this way, but I also purchase the plants.  I prefer the miniature violas to the larger pansies but love both.  To my delight many of the smaller varieties self-seed freely.  I’m not surprised they have been used in love potions.  An old belief is that if the flowers were placed on the closed eyelids of a sleeping person they would fall in love with the first person they saw upon awakening.

VIOLA ODORATA is an ancient heirloom, which the Greeks used in love potions, and beloved by our grandmothers and their grandmothers because of its sweet perfume, delicate purple to deep bluish purple flower and heart-shaped leaves.” Quote from an interesting looking site that sells heirloom violet seeds called Cherry Gal:

I always thought the flower in the crannied wall referred to in the famous poem by Tennyson was probably a violet.

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower -but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.” ~ by Lord Alfred Tennyson


This is interesting regarding Napoleon Bonaparte and violets: From Meanings & Legends of Flowers:

Napoleon Bonaparte loved violets. When he married Josephine, she wore violets and on each anniversary Napolean sent her a violet bouquet. Josephine maintained an extensive garden of violets which became the rage in France. In 1814, Napoleon asked to visit Josephine’s tomb, before being exiled to the Island of St. Helena. There he picked the violets that were found in a locket around his neck after he died. The French thus chose the violet as their emblem, and Napoleon was nicknamed ~Corporal Violet~ or ~Le Pere Violet~ meaning ~the little flower that returns with spring.~

From Footnotes to the Violet:

In modern times, a story has grown up around Napoleon Bonaparte and the violet.  While in exile on the island of Elba, he supposedly confided to his friends that he would return to France with the appearance of the violets in the spring.  (Such flowers may have had a special significance for the deposed Emperor, since he had once used them as an amorous emblem of his love for Josephine.)  His partisans rallied around the symbol of his triumphant return and secretly referred to him as Corporal violet.  To determine a loyal supporter, the question was asked of a stranger: –Do you like violets?  If the reply to the query was Yes (Oui) or No (Non), it revealed one who did not know of the plot.  If the answer was –‘Eh bien,’ the loyalty of the person to the case was affirmed.


From The Sacred Hearth:

Magical Attributes: “Violets are affiliated with the planet Venus OR Pluto and are associated with the nymphs of ancient Greek myth as, in the Odyssey Homer says that Ogygia is “beautiful land of parsley and violets.” Violets are also associated with death and rebirth through the story of Attis.

Violets are useful in love spells and may be carried as an amuleti to increase one’s luck in love. Try combining them with lavender for enhanced effect.

Also useful in spells for protection, wishes, peace and healing.

In the language of flowers, violets represent faithfulness.”


“They are all in the lily-bed, cuddled close together– Purple, Yellow-cap, and little Baby-blue; How they ever got there you must ask the April weather, The morning and the evening winds, the sunshine and the dew.”

~Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz

The beloved English poet William Wordsworth had a lovely garden at Dove Cottage still preserved today where many old fashioned herbs and flowers grow, among them violas.

“The garden has always been a mixture of planned plantings and the happy accidents all gardeners enjoy. Today Dove Cottage Garden is a semi-wild garden planted naturally in the spirit of Wordsworth with native and cottage garden plants. Honeysuckles entwine Rosa Rugosa and climb the cottage walls. Ferns and ivy grow among rocks and in the crevices of the terrace wall. Native English primrose (primula vulgaris) root in tree stumps; the old well is surrounded by Osmundine fern and Helleborus orientalis. Native daffodils, bluebells, mosses and other plants referred to by the Wordsworth family in letters and journals….”

“Heart’s ease!  one could look for half a day Upon this flower, and shape in fancy out Full twenty different tales of love and sorrow, That gave this gentle name. ” ~Mary Howitt

For The Love of Violets~

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~ Mark Twain

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.” ~Tennessee Williams

“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

~Therese of Lisieux

“Everything about Florence seems to be colored with a mild violet, like diluted wine.” ~Henry James

“Each violet peeps from its dwelling to gaze at the bright stars above.” ~Heinrich Heine

“Inside, the cathedral is a Gothic forest dappled in violet twilight and vast with quiet.” ~Wendy Insinger

“I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill”

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.” ~
Beverly Nichols

“A violet by a mossy stone Half hidden from the eye! Fair as a star when only one Is shining in the sky.” ~ William Wordsworth

*Image of violets taken by daughter Elise

Big doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Sunflowers aren’t better than violets.”  ~ Edna Ferber


“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”

~Walt Whitman

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~
Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock. ”
~Henry Ward Beecher

“The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn, And violets bathe in the wet o’ the morn.”
~ Robert Burns

“I have loved flowers that fade, Within those magic tents Rich hues have marriage made With sweet unmemoried scents.”
~Robert Seymour Bridges

From this site on violets and perfume: “Violet (Viola odorata), also called Sweet Violet grows in the regions of Mediterranean and Asia Minor. Its delicate purple, white, or variegated flower appears early in the spring time before the trees grow leaves. Violet is well known for its sweet floral odor, but also for its wide variety of therapeutic properties: it helps with cold, asthma, rheumatism, and a range of infections (including syphilis).

Violet was a symbol of ancient Athens, and also a favorite flower of Napoleon Bonaparte. In the 19th century, violet based perfumes were very popular.

The odor of violet flower is different than the one of the leaves. The flower possesses a sweet powdery to woodsy-flowery scent due to ionones, first separated from the Parma violet by Tiemann and Kruger in 1893. The discovery of ionones enabled production of synthetic violet scent identical and not as expensive as the precious natural oil.”

From The Beautiful Scent of a Violet:

“I look upon the pleasure which we take in a garden, as one of the most innocent delights in human life.”

~Joseph Addison

There are records of sweet violets growing during the first century AD in Persia, Syria, and Turkey. Violets have been introduced elsewhere and are now cultivated in several countries for their lovely and exotic scent used in the perfume industry.


“Where fall the tears of love the rose appears, And where the ground is bright with friendship’s tears, Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue, Spring glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.”
~William Cullen Bryant

A Host of Golden Daffodils

A wonderful childhood memory of mine is arriving home after church one Sunday to find a clump of yellow daffodils, beaded with rain,  blooming beside the back door.  New flowers to me because I’d spent my early years in Taiwan where my parents both taught English.  We had a banana tree there, but no daffodils.   Rushing to the flowers in delight, I buried my face in the moist petals and breathed in the essence of spring.  To this day, nothing says spring to me like the fragrance of a simple  daffodil.

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” ~Gertrude S. Wister  *I totally get this quote 🙂

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. ” ~ William Wordsworth

“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty.” ~ Shakespeare

“It is daffodil time, so the robins all cry, For the sun’s a big daffodil up in the sky, And when down the midnight the owl call “to-whoo”! Why, then the round moon is a daffodil too; Now sheer to the bough-tops the sap starts to climb, So, merry my masters, it’s daffodil time.”

~ Clinton Scollard

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Its loveliness increases. It will never

Pass into nothingness….Such the sun, the moon.

Trees old and young; sprouting a shady boon For simple sheep; such are daffodils With the green world they live in.”  ~John Keats

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.” ~ Lydia M. Child

“It is not raining rain to me,

It’s raining daffodils;

In every dimpled drop I see

Wild flowers on the hill.” ~ Robert Loveman

“If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.”  ~Terri Guilleme

*My tiny pom-poo and faithful friend Sadie Sue.