Here I am; reading, thinking & writing about roses, and then suddenly this poem comes along – almost as on demand …


A rose, rose. A violet, violet. A jade, jade.
No. The architecture of each, a refusal.

Rose is not rose nor violet violet nor jade jade.
But each is what it is, not what it seems.

What each seems is what of each gets seen.
Though what we see isn’t the thing seen.

The petals of the rose are violet and jade.
Thus the petals of the rose look, to us, rose.

The shape of the violet absorbs all but violet.
The violet we see is the violet a violet rejects.

A rose is a rose is a rose, but not as a rose.
Jade is the name of jade, not the jade named.

— Raymond McDaniel



There is an obvious reference in all this rose-work I’m rummaging around in, also in Ray McDaniel’s poem, which I haven’t commented upon. I’m thinking about Gertrude Stein’s: A rose is a rose is a rose. The reason why I haven’t commented upon it is – frankly speaking – my lack of compatibility with Stein.

I know she is extremely important to many writers & readers, but the thing is; personally — we don’t get on that well, the two of us … Gertrude & me.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. KM Huber says:

    “But each is what it is, not what it seems.” Yes, for me; maybe for you and Gertrude, too? 🙂

  2. Thought-provoking, as usual!

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