Flora Poetica: The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse
Random House, 11.01.2011 - 384 Seiten
This beautiful anthology brings together over 250 poems about flowers, plants and trees from eight centuries of writing in English, creating a rich bouquet of intriguing juxtapositions. Fourteenth-century lyrics sit next to poems of the twenty-first century; celebrations of plants native to the English soil share the volume with more exotic plant poetry.
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... amongst women, for whom plant collecting offered welcome opportunities for outdoor exercise as well as intellectual stimulation14 — Clare's close attention to the details of plants is unusual amongst poets of the Romantic period.
Outstanding amongst them are a number of poems by women poets such as Emily Dickinson (1830–86) and Christina Rossetti (1830–94), both of whom use flowers as an oblique commentary on their desires and constraints.
The association between women and blossoms may seem rather pretty and harmless, but flowers, as many of the poets in this anthology repeatedly tell us, are decorative and silent and have no function once they've faded.
Other poets, such as Christina Rossetti, turn to flowers as an effective means of voicing the painful consequences of sexual attractiveness for women. In 'The Solitary Rose', a poem written when she was seventeen (1847), ...
But although women poets frequently employ flowers as metaphors for femininity and female desire, no (heterosexual) woman poet, as far as I can tell, writes erotically and directly about men in the way they regularly apostrophise women ...