A White Rose
A rose is a flower that is delicate, classic and vibrant both in color and scent. This flowers history dates back to fossil evidence that was found 35 million years ago in North America, Asia and Europe. “In nature, the genus Rosa has some 150 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Alaska to Mexico including northern Africa.” (University Of Illinois, 2013) During the Roman Empire the Romans used roses for medicinal purposes as they are rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C to treat the common cold and different infections by boiling leaves and petals in water to make a tea. Roses were also used during this time period to treat the wounds from wild dog ...view middle of the document...
According to Clugston, (2010) symbolism is described as “something that has a literal identity but also stands for something else” Symbolism is significant to poetry because it uses images to portray emotions which give the writing a deeper meaning allowing the reader to make a comparison in just a few words. O’Reilly accomplishes this by using different colored roses to represent the difference between lust and love in relationships. What makes symbolism in this poem so unique is O’Reilly takes the time out to explain the symbolism where symbols in poetry are usually understood rather than explained.
A white rose begins with the line “The red rose whispers of passion” to indicate a deep passionate lust for someone. He then goes on to compare this type of love to a bird specifically the falcon. “Oh, the red rose is a falcon” indicating just how strong the desire of lust is since a falcon is seen as a powerful animal. While he uses the white rose “the white rose breathes of love” to represent a pure form of love comparing it to a dove which symbolizes peace and purity.
O’Reilly then describes love from a deeper stand point. “But I send you a cream-white rosebud, with a flush on its petal tips.” In this line O'Reilly is trying to get the reader to understand there is difference between lust and love saying if you are truly in love with someone then the lust or desire for them will always be present and confirms this in the last two lines of his poem “For the love that is purest and sweetest has a kiss of desire on its lips” to indicate a pure form of love.
Connotation, of a word is the emotional implications associated with it that are widely or locally known. (Clugston, 2010) to understand this technique the reader must look carefully at the author’s words as connotation in poetry it helps set the mood or tone in the writing. This is shown as O’Reilly uses the word “Whisper” to make the reader think of quiet, but often secret and deceptive words. "Breathe" implies quiet and peaceful words to but also those that give and sustain to life. (Mansfield, 1996) Other words contrasted in this poem include passion and love. Passion represents a strong emotion that can be possessive, emotionally draining or even selfish. While love, represents a selfless emotion that reflects serenity and purity. The metaphors between the red rose and falcon, the white rose and dove, compare and contrast with the words passion and love throughout the poem.
Throughout the poem O’Reilly uses repetition to get his message across in ‘A white Rose’ as he uses the repetition technique...