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The symbol of the Rose

by Editor Wicher Bos 
Edited and published by Head Editor Yvette Depaepe, the 7th of January 2022


Another article in my series on photography and poetry. Listen to a wonderful poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963), an American poet. He wrote “The Rose Family” published in 1927. What happened? In the past, botanists classified plants using plant morphology, the visual characteristics such as how many leaves or petals a plant has. Then science led to new insights and botanical re-classifications. By the early 1900s, botanists reclassified the Plum, and Apple families as subfamilies within the Rose family (Rosaceae). This reclassification triggered Frost to write his poem. Here is the poem:


The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.

The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.

You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose. 


'Rose & Apples' by Catherine W.


Re-classifications happens – progressive insights we call it… why did it inspire a poet? Well, a rose is not just a flower, is it? Just add a rose to a man and you know it… It is a symbol, a personification of love, a noble token of something greater than us… and now all of a sudden it seems part of an ordinary family…

Roses have a literal meaning in the poem, scientifically, an apple tree is part of the rose family (Rosea), and so is a pear or plum tree. However, as mentioned roses are a metaphor as well, that is about how society interprets and assigns meaning to them.


I read several analyses on this poem, all taking a slightly different angle. Let me quote the ones that I liked:
“It means that society's vision of beauty is changing...”
“Logic and proof cannot be used to prove beauty. Nobody can "prove" beauty. “You” (the reader) may not look like the person next to you who gets called pretty and beautiful, but you are...”
“The beauty of the rose represents something classic, a lasting beauty. This ‘classicity’ of the beauty of the rose is exactly what is satirized here...”

So, the poem could even be read as satire… Every analyst hears Frost saying different things… similarly, everyone sees different things in a photo… depending on context and personal situation. That is probably THE magic of art and artistic creations…


Diversity of the rose…

The images I discovered in the data-store prove that a rose can symbolize a wide variety of meaning. 

Let me list a few:

First it represents the actual flower…
Sometimes it is just a product you can harvest and sell…
Then it is applied as a beauty attribute… sometimes not even as real roses, just their appearance as tattoo… or their shape as food is formed to theirs…
Then it becomes a symbol of beauty, or (absent) love… or femininity… or a political symbol like peace or freedom…
Then some see the opposite because of their thorny stems and see symbols like caution emerge …
To finish, others see beauty in their decay… 


Now my selection of images… and consider how strong the symbol of the rose actually is…


The rose as it beautiful self…


'bella ragazza' by Gilbert Claes



'My prize' by Margareth Perfoncio



'With a bouquet of garden roses' by Tatyana Skorokhod



'Still life with roses' by Alina Lankina



'Bow of wild roses' by Els Keurlinckx


The product Rose


'Rose Harvest Season' by Haitham AL Farsi


The food Rose


'Zucchini and prosciutto roses' by Diana Popescu


The decorative Rose


'The red rose' by Peppe Tambè



'Rose' by Michal Ciucias



'Vogue' by Josefina Melo



n/t by kenp



'Tiger Leg Monkey Tree Frog' by Linda D Lester



'Rose Garden' by 7 Flavor C/P


The Thorny Rose


'A Rose Among The Thorns' by Nur Ernehir



'Red Rose 3' by Sebastian Kisworo



'when everything must come to an end' by djeff act



'As time goes by...' by Heike Willers



'her last dance' by thierry ysebaert


The metaphorical Rose


'Shyness' by Alin Petrus



'Ageless Beauty' by nima.zadshir



'Victoria & Yasmin' by Alexandr Sutula
"It is a portrait of two girls of different ethnic groups who are friendly and not distracted by prejudice, but participate in the creation of a beautiful"


The Poetic Rose


'POETRY' by Adela Lia Rusu



'rose' by Matgorzata Kossakowska



'Garden beauties' by Ben Goossens


And many, many more Roses


'Lonely Day' by see plus



'The cause' by Golubeva Nataly



'Broken' by Toni Minchev
"My heart goes out to all victims of mass shootings and their families"



'Limbo' by Sukaria Nitihandawa



'Cage' by Kiyo Murakami



'North Las Vegas' by Kurt Klein



'Bad times for poets' by Marcos Gali


Outer beauty comes in all shapes and sizes…
Don't judge a book by its cover.

Did you enjoy this ‘rosy’ excursion? Remarks, improvements, or anything? Just let me know in the comments below…




Thank you Wicher Bos and Yvette Depaepe! I'm very honored!!!
Thank you to both Witcher and Yvette for choosing my photo for this interesting and informative article! Love the variety and originality in all the selected images! Beautiful! Congratulations to my fellow photographers!
wonderful images and article, many thanks Wicher and Yvette, and congratulations to all the featured photographers!!
Bellissimo articolo, complimenti a Yvette ed agli autori.
This article was truly enriching, not only for what was said but also for the stunning photographs presented, where a symbiosis was created between them. Thank you Wicher and Yvette for providing us with this wealth.
Thank you for your appreciation, Miguel! All honour goes to Wicher and the authors ;-)
๐Ÿ˜ƒ thx
Wonderful collection. Congratulations to the authors
Spectacular collection.
poetic article and very beautiful rose pictures
Excellent images and great articles๏ผThanks and congrats!
Mei Xu PRO
Great collections! Love all of these beautiful and creative images.
Love is in the eyes of the beholder. Thanks for a great article and selection of thought provoking photos!
Great article! Love those photos!
๐Ÿ˜ƒ yes there are truly amazing artists on this!
In the early 1900s, botanists reclassified the Spirea, Plum, and Apple families as subfamilies within the Rose, An Apple is a Rose, or not? This is a question. :-) I am honored to have my โ€œ Apple & Rosesโ€ still life photo selected. Thank you both very much Wicher and Yvette for creating such a romantic poetic article with great plant knowledge. Congratulations to all amazing photographers!
All honour goes to editor Wicher and to the authors ... Thank you so much for your fine feedback, dear Catherine.
Fantastic, great article, thank you very much im honored. Congratulations to all!!!
great article and excellent selection... congrats.
Wicher you have created an excellent article dedicated to this beautiful flower. I have some in my garden, after reading this i will watch them with different eyes. Congratulations for excellent photos selection. Also many thanks to Yvette for superb editing and great appreciation to all autors of these lovely images for excellent work.
Thank you, dear Miro !
Thank you, Yvette and Wicher, for a very poetic and amazing collection about roses. I enjoy it.
Thanks for your appreciation, Hui !
Great article, great selection, itโ€™s a very nice calming break in my busy day! Props to Wicher and Yvette.
Thanks Gerda ;-)
Read this article with great interest. The description of the important significance of the rose in its history is remarkable and the poem together with the beautiful images emphasize once again the beauty of it all... Congratulations to Wicher Bos and Yvette for drafting and compiling this valuable document. Also congratulations to all the authors of those wonderful photos... Best regards.
Thank you, dear Gil !!! Great job from Wicher (always) and congratulations to the authors, to you ... Best wishes, btw. Cheers, Yvette
great article and excellent selection... congrats.
muhteลŸem bir makale ve harika bir seรงki... kutluyorum. :)
Thanks so much for the great article! I am very glad that among the magnificent photographs devoted to the topic of the article, my work is also shown.