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Jump Up And Kiss Me
Barbara St Jean
Photograph - Photography
Jump Up and Kiss Me - The Pansy has figured in literature and the visual arts. In William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the juice of the heartsease is a love potion and "on sleeping eyelids laid, will make a man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature that it sees." In Hamlet, Ophelia distributes flowers with the remark, "There's pansies, that's for thoughts"
Elsewhere in literature, Nathaniel Hawthorne published his last literary effort, an unfinished piece, entitled Pansie, a Fragment, sometimes called Little Pansie, a fragment in 1864. D. H. Lawrence's Pansies: Poems by D. H. Lawrence was published in 1929, and Margaret Mitchell originally chose Pansy as the name of her Gone with the Wind heroine, but settled on Scarlett just before the book went into print. In the Harry Potter series, a character named Pansy Parkinson is a bully, and just one of the characters in the novels who has a flower related name, including Lavender Brown and Lily Potter.
In the visual arts, Pierre-Joseph Redouté painted Bouquet of Pansies in 1827, and, in 1874, Henri Fantin-Latour painted Still Life with Pansies. In 1887, van Gogh painted Mand met viooltjes, and, in 1926, Georgia O'Keeffe created a painting of a black pansy called simply, Pansy and followed it with White Pansy in 1927. J. J. Grandville created a fantasy flower called Pensée in his Fleurs Animées, and the 1953 Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland featured a chorus of singing pansies in the Garden of Live Flowers scene.
The language of flowers is traditional rather than scientific. A honeyflower and a pansy left by a lover for his beloved means "I am thinking of our forbidden love". In 1858, the writer James Shirley Hibberd wrote that the French custom of giving a bride a bouquet of pansies (thoughts) and marigolds (cares) symbolized the woes of domestic life rather than marital bliss......A German fable tells of how the pansy lost its perfume. Originally pansies would have been very fragrant, growing wild in fields and forests. It was said that people would trample the grass completely in eagerness to pick pansies. Unfortunately, the people’s cows were starving due to the ruined fields, so the pansy prayed to give up her perfume. Her prayer was answered, and without her perfumed scent, the fields grew tall, and the cows grew fat on the fresh green grass.....American pioneers thought that “a handful of violets taken into the farmhouse in the spring ensured prosperity, and to neglect this ceremony brought harm to baby chicks and ducklings.” On account of its place in American hearts, a game called “Violet War” also arose. In this game, two players would intertwine the hooks where the pansy blossoms meet the stems, then attempt to pull the two flowers apart like wishbones. Whoever pulled off the most of their opponent’s violet heads was proclaimed the winner.
By Barbara St. Jean, Saint Jean Art Gallery, Copyright Protected, All rights reserved. To purchase print please visit my site; http://barbara-saint-jean.artistwebsites.com/
May 3rd, 2013
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