Roses & Briars

“It is what it is” said Gertrude Stein,
“If I open a door it is just a door.
A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
And nothing more
And metaphor an artistic pose
A palliative for the mundane mind.”

But cerulean in a Heavenly sky
Or the Virgin’s cloak, is not just blue
For colour was used in Renaissance Art
To give the observer a visual clue
To the meaning which lay at the painting’s heart,
That the Virgin is pure and God is on High.

Did the shoemaker really get help from the elves?
And Briar Rose sleep years in an unbroken dream
While brambles wove round her their treacherous wall?
In Fairy Tales things are not what they seem
For metaphor reigns and the image is all
And objects have meanings apart from themselves.

Leave Gertrude alone with her actual door
While Alice sits quietly painting her plates.
She bends in the breeze on the thorn ridden slope
The beautiful rose; the encircling Fates,
A symbol of Love and the Rebirth of Hope
For a rose is a rose – and so very much more.

Annie Broadley: June 2020
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