“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”
So wrote Gertrude Stein.
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…”
So wrote Billy Bob Shakespeare.
“All things uncomely and broken,
all things worn-out and old,
The cry of a child by the roadway,
the creak of a lumbering cart,
The heavy steps of the ploughman,
splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms
a rose in the deeps of my heart.
The wrong of unshapely things
is a wrong too great to be told;
I hunger to build them anew
and sit on a green knoll apart,
With the earth and the sky and the water,
remade, like a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms
a rose in the deeps of my heart.”
In the “deeps” of one’s heart.
“Deeps” in the heart of Texas, too.
And why a rose, indeed.
Because rose is June’s flower.
“O Rose, thou flower of flowers, thou fragrant wonder,
Who shall describe thee in thy ruddy prime;
Thy perfect fulness in the summer time;
When the pale leaves blushingly part asunder
And show the warm red heart lies glowing under?
Thou shouldst bloom surely in some sunny clime,
Untouched by blights and chilly Winter’s rime,
Where lightnings never flash, nor peals the thunder.
And yet in happier spheres they cannot need thee
So much as we do with our weight of woe;
Perhaps they would not tend, perhaps not need thee,
And thou wouldst lonely and neglected grow;
And He Who is All-Wise, He hath decreed thee
To gladden earth and cheer all hearts below.”
So wrote Christina Rossetti.
And from the 14th Century comes the poem “Pearl”—
Perle, pleasaunte to prynces paye
To clanly clos in golde so clere,
Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye,
Ne proued I neuer her precios pere.
That being the first stanza from a very long and spiritual Middle English alliterative poem.
Written by that well-known poet, Anonymous.
Which was probably a woman since females in those days weren’t allowed to sign their name to anything much less be creative.
So open up those pearly gates.
But don’t cast pearls before swine.
After all, pearl is June’s gem.
And a lovely one it is.
A string of pearls from Gems of the Hill Country.
A dozen roses from Striegler’s.
Put the two together.
Now that’s class.
Renee Walker is a poet, author, and real estate broker on the square.