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The Change Of The Year

Ringing In the New Year With Percy Shelley, Dorothy Parker and (Of course!) Flowers.

The New Year According to Percy Shelley And Dorothy Parker

Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote: “Follow the bier of the dead cold year, and like dim shadows watch by her sepulcher.” These are somber words, however, most of us will not wish to mourn but rather to celebrate as we stand on the brink of a shiny new year. We may celebrate, for instance, that we are still standing despite the challenges that beset us in the year just past. We savor the anticipation of what this New Year will bring.

Experience has taught us that life is like our flower gardens–it is full of surprises: some good and others not so good. Hopefully we will have lots of flowers in our lives in this coming year and will be given some as gifts. If you are the recipient of flowers, do not behave in the way described by Dorothy Parker in her poem, “One True Rose”. While her words are amusing, her attitude should not be emulated:

A single flower he sent me, since we met
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the flowers;
‘My fragile leaves’ it said, ‘his heart enclose.’
Love had long taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

Happy New Year!

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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