A Rose By No Other Name

rosesMore than two hundred years ago, Romantic poet Robert Burns wrote an enduring − though simple − love poem that I’ve reproduced below.

Known as the Bard of Scotland, Burns wrote (and spelled) in a manner some might say is peculiar. This reflects his lowland Scottish roots and the Scots language spoken there.

       A Red, Red Rose
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Another Bard, Shakespeare, provided us with an equally memorable reference (lines 47-48) associated with the rose: Romeo hears Juliet forswear her family name, saying “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

As one of the most ubiquitous symbols of Valentine’s Day, red roses are always a stunning gift. (On a recent store outing, I saw a flower display that featured tulips shaped to resemble roses. They were quite beautiful!)

Who among us doesn’t enjoy fresh flowers? (If anyone dares raise a hand in contradiction, I will ignore you!) Roses of course are especially fragrant and I love how their scent fills a room.

The sonnet I’ve posted below is in the Visser Sonnet form. This sonnet form is named for Audrae Visser (1919-2006) who served as Poet Laureate of South Dakota from 1974 to 2001. There’s an Amazon page on which her two books are listed, but I found no biographical information on her.

The Visser isn’t a common form for the sonnet and I had written this one so long ago, I had to think for a bit to recall its unique format. The Visser Sonnet sets itself apart by its internal rhyme structure. (It’s organized with an internal rhyme scheme of abbaabba cdecde.) That particular format isn’t readily apparent unless you take time to read the poem aloud. It’s a challenging format … which is probably why I’ve only completed one Visser Sonnet.

Like-A-Red-Red-Rose, valentine, roses, perfume, Visser sonnet, sonnet, poetry, poem
Sonnet: Like A Red, Red Rose


2 thoughts on “A Rose By No Other Name

  1. Never heard of that sonnet form. I have enough trouble writing decent classic sonnets. You are so talented!

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