dance of death

Despite the supermarket’s conservative estimate of a mere five-day lifetime, the same bunch of tulips has kept me entertained now for a full two weeks.

Last weekend I wrote about how they are more expressive than some cut flowers, struggling to escape captivity in the vase and writhing in torment as they die.

It was a mixed bunch, of which the variegated flowers seemed to be the least repressed, stretching wide open, then folding back on themselves, scattering the sooty powder from their stamens and eventually shedding their petals.
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floral personality

I never used to like tulips. The colours were pretty enough in the park flowerbeds of my childhood, but the neat rows of tight scarlet blooms perched atop rigidly straight stalks reminded me too closely of redcoat soldiers. I was never much of one for the military or for regimented discipline and precision.

Then, some years ago, I read a poem that made me look at tulips afresh and see that they express more personality and attitude than many cut flowers.
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the root of the problem

yellow tulip

As I mentioned in seeing for yourself, I’m dipping into the works of Saki each time I take a coffee break.

This morning I chanced on the story Reginald’s Rubaiyat, which begins:
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