Thursday, 15 October 2015

Blue Roses


These roses on a grave in the cemetery made me stop and look twice. Surely there is no such thing as a blue rose? …

Quite right: On closer inspection, they turned out to be artificial – dewdrops and all.

The question kept nagging me: Why?

Of course I’ll never know for sure what the person was thinking who put them there…

But when I googled “blue rose”, this is what I found:

Due to the absence in nature of blue roses they have come to symbolise mystery and longing to attain the impossible, with some cultures going so far as to say that the holder of a blue rose will have his wishes granted. (Wikipedia)

And then this poem by Rudyard Kipling, which totally convinced me that the choice of grave decoration must have been very deliberate, rather than just “odd”:

Roses red and roses white
Plucked I for my love's delight.
She would none of all my posies--
Bade me gather her blue roses.
Half the world I wandered through,
Seeking where such flowers grew.
Half the world unto my quest
Answered me with laugh and jest.
Home I came at wintertide,
But my silly love had died
Seeking with her latest breath
Roses from the arms of Death.
It may be beyond the grave
She shall find what she would have.
Mine was but an idle quest--
Roses white and red are best!



  1. my heart hurts fro whomever put the blue roses there, i am sure it meant something to them. the poem is a good idea of what it might mean.

    1. Yes that's how feel now too, Sandra. It's too odd to be a coincidence.

  2. Never heard that poem before, wonder if the person who planted the blue roses had.

    1. I can't recall ever reading or hearing about this poem or symbolism before either, Janet. Which is why the choice of blue roses did not make any sense to me. Now it does...

  3. I've come across blue roses every now and then, but I have never investigated their meaning. Longing to attain the impossible certainly makes them a fitting decoration on a grave; thank you for the explanation! Without really thinking about it, my impression was always that whoever chose them has not the very best taste (as artificial flowers have something of that aura to me in general).

    1. That's pretty much how I felt spontaneously when I first spotted them, Meike. Which made me feel rather ashamed when I did find this poem and learned about the symbolism... I'm glad I did look it up. Once again a lesson not to jump too quickly to conclusions about things! ;)

  4. One time my girlfriend received a vase of blue roses at work and I thought they were artificial, but when I checked closely the florist had sprayed them blue because my girlfreind's admirer knew that her favourite colour was blue and had requested blue thoughtful.
    Interesting Kipling poem.


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