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Poetry is a way in which a poet can express ones thoughts in many different ways, and one way

a poet can express themselves is showing admiration. Admiration is a feeling one gets when they admire

something. Admiration, as defined by Google, is the object of respect and of warm approval. In the

book, The World Of Poetry admiration is a theme shown in some poems, two of which are A

Contemplation Upon Flowers and Orchids. A Contemplation Upon Flowers, written by Henry King,

and Orchids, written by Hazel Simmonds-McDonalds, are both about flowers, and one common theme

shown in both is admiration.

The poem A Contemplation Upon Flowers is about exactly what the title suggests. The poem is

giving us the thoughts the writer thinks while observing some flowers, and we can see the comparison

of the flowers to many things, mostly to that of the flowers nature versus that of the nature of humans.

In A Contemplation Upon Flowers, the speaker shows admiration to many qualities the flowers display

all throughout the poem. In stanza 1, the poet expresses his admiration to the flowers for the way they

are humble and not proud. He admires the fact that, even though the flowers are made of immense

beauty, they still know that they are all equal, and that they will soon die and go back into the earth,

where it, and all the other flowers have come from. The writer, in stanza 2, starts to compare the flower

to that of his nature, and to a greater extent, to the nature of all humans. It speaks on the way that

flowers gracefully accept the fact that their time is done, that while they have only certain times or

seasons where they can survive, especially spring, the human race on the other hand, want it to be their

favourable season year round, and the proof in that can be easily seen with all the different medicines,

health devices and whatever else may increase the chances of staying alive. And finally, in stanza 3, the

poet expounds on the fascination and admiration with the flowers acceptance of death, and, asks them

to teach him how to, instead of seeing death and being afraid, how to accept it, and also admires the

fact that, not only do they embrace death, but they complement it, as they are very much often used at

a funerals to lighten and add cheer to the air. Also the writer admires that, even after death, flowers
can be used to sweeten the air, as seen with perfumes.

The title of the poem Orchids also gives the reader a brief look as to what the poem is about,

and also that it focuses on flowers. The poem shows us that, at first, the speaker did not appreciate the

gift of the purple orchids, as she was contemplating throwing them away; also, it tells us, the reader,

that the poet was so unimpressed with the flowers that she tried killing them by over-watering them

and then later by neglecting and starving them, but with all this ill treatment the flowers received, they

still continued to grow and they continued to flourish, and it is at this point the poet came to a

revelation that their purple hearts and their durability were characters in which she admired. She also

admired how resilient the flowers were, how they could still grow in such harsh and abusive conditions.

The poem A Contemplation Upon Flowers focuses mainly on death, and it can be seen that two

stages of the human life is shown, birth for the first half of stanza 1, and death for the second half of

stanza 1, and also in stanzas 2 and 3. The situation that the persona faces in this poem is fear and un-

acceptance of death. There are many reasons in which the persona would be contemplating and

associating things as innocent as a flower with death, especially if the persona was an elderly person.

Elderly people usually sit and contemplate, reflect on their life, and usually in a peaceful, quiet and

serene place. This is probably where the connection between death and the flowers came into play. In

this poem, the persona realizes and learns from the flowers, that it is best to obey the timing of Mother

Nature, it is best not to fight death, but to accept it. The persona, in the end, learned that, the way to

deal with death is by letting his life be a legacy, so he can live on, just as the flowers live on after they

die, as they are used in perfumes and potpourri. The persona says that he wants his life/legacy

to ...sweeten and perfume my (his) death. This can also mean that, on the day of his funeral, he

does not want the kind and sweet things they say about him as they usually do at funerals to be false,
the truth, so that the last things said about hi may be pleasant. In the poem Orchids, we are introduced

to the persona just as she is packing for what can be described as another move from the five week life

she had in that house. While the speaker is in the middle of packing she finds a spray of orchids that was

given to her by someone who has a habit of giving people flowers as gifts, just as some people have a

habit of giving cards or poems for gifts, and as a result of this, the persona did not really appreciate the

gift, so the situation in this poem is that, the persona did not like the gift, but not wanting to seem

unappreciative, she did not throw it out, she had instead kept it and instead dealt with the situation by

over-watering them; thinking they would die, but they still grew and blossomed normally, so she tried

another tactic, by starving, but even then, they still began to blossom new blooms. She then came upon

the realization that she was fascinated by their purple hearts, and so she comes to a resolve by

choosing to keep them, by preserving them in the pages of her memory, so that she can discover

their peculiar poetry. The way in which the persona in both poems deal with the situation they face, in

a way, is by preserving them, whether their legacy, or the flowers.

The devices of literature can be used to paint a precise and lucid image of exactly how the

persona feels and brings the point across clearly. Each poem being compared uses literary devices to

show how they admire the flowers in the poems presented. The use of simile in line 1, Brave flowers,

that I could gallant it like you, is very effective in bringing across the fact that the persona admires the

flowers, and it also basically sets the tone for the rest of the poem. This comparison is comparing the

braveness of the flowers to that of the bashful, reluctant and often feared approach humans have

towards death. This is used to set the tone of the poem, and it can be seen throughout the poem; in

stanza 2 this is clearly seen, especially in lines 7, 8 and 9. In Orchids, the use of simile is also very

effective in bringing across the admiration shown by the persona in line 14 of the poem, like polished

poems, as it is comparing the flowers to finished and perfected poems. This is effective because,

people appreciate and admire a fully finished and properly perfected poem, as it lives forever and, and
the persona had said they would press them between pages of memory, they would, in a sense, be


In conclusion, the theme admiration is found to be interwoven between the lines of the

poems A Contemplation Upon Flowers, written by Henry King, and Orchids written by Hazel Simmons-

McDonald. It can be seen that admiration was given to the flowers for their acceptance of death, and for

their resilience. The speakers deal with the situations they both face commonly, by preservation. And, it

can be seen that the literary devices are very vital parts in bringing across the ways in which admiration

is shown to the flowers.