Do you remember studying Hamlet in high school or university? I just found another piece I wrote in Grade 9 (on Hamlet). I didn’t realise how well Shakespeare wrote – the symbolism and hidden meanings, with the “intricacies of the english language”, as j.w would say. Anyhow, if you remember who Ophelia and what happens in Hamlet, you’ll likely understand this better (if not, just go to sparknotes.com for a brief summary):
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance,”
Given to her lover as a token of remembrance.
Did she not know that her brother, Laertes, was not Hamlet?
Her dear brother was to be remembered in his death.
“And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”
The pansies given along with rosemary
With blossoms of rich colour
Of velvet texture,
As sentiments of her love.
“There’s fennel for you, and columbines.”
Symbols of flattery and unfaithfulness
Flowers to the Queen
Ophelia freely bestowed.
“There’s rue for you.”
A meaningful flower presented to the King.
Herb of grace the flower is also known
WIth a name preaching of repentance and regret.
“There’s a daisy”
With a saffron centre
Surrounded with petals of pale white.
The memories of forsaken love
“I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.”
She pointed out with a sigh.
Her violets wilted with the loss of her father and lover.
Violets of faithfulness and love.
Willows, trees of sadness.
Nettles, weeds that conjure pain, poison, and betrayal.
Nettles pierced her heart.
Crow-flowers, flowers of dejection.
Long-purples, and of daisies
Intertwined into the garland of blosssoms.
The willows wept
Incidentally, did you know that the name Ophelia means “immortal one”?