Poem: Tears and Sun

Find me a yellow rose
In bud and blossom
and withering too;
Give me its thorny prose
needing tears and sun
with nothing to do.

Leave me its secret blush
hiding love and loss
and dried up hope;
Compare me to its hush
speaking true and false
with a heart to cope.

There in the garden
to live without picking;
red rose to pardon
that drinks without sipping.



A primrose by the river’s brim.
A yellow primrose was to him.
And it was nothing more.

William Wordsworth

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

36 thoughts on “Poem: Tears and Sun

  1. Pingback: Announcing 2011 Soul-Song Awards « One-In-Creation

  2. This poem inspires me to think about the past and how it has withered, but it’s memory continues to come up and give me hope for the future. Again, thank you for your moving and wonderful words and illustrations.


    • I was actually going to use a prose piece to accompany the painting of the yellow rose…but then poetry called out and it all became one.

      Thank for taking the time to visit and comment! I so enjoy your comments everywhere I come across them.



  3. Diane, what a simply profound and evocative work of art! I’m just amazed with the poetry and how you have crafted such a deeply resonant metaphor for human experience through the image of the yellow rose. There is brilliance in the acceptance (and even welcoming) of contradiction in your words. Isn’t it just so that we are often ‘in bud and blossom and withering, too?’ What a beautiful image!

    I have found someone to help me restore my backyard. Suddenly, I want to make sure that among the first flowers in my garden, I have a yellow rose bush. I will print this poem… and I hope to learn it word for word by heart. It’s perfectly lovely. Thank you! 🙂


    • Thank you, Angela! What a lovely comment.

      Contradiction, I believe, like contrast gives dimension and shape to our lives and yet at the same time add to the mystery of living.

      That’s why I love nature so and am so constantly inspired by its ability to know what it is about and yet not need to know. And how it circles in on itself–‘budding and blooming and withering”–to recreate itself.

      I think a yellow rose…and perhaps yellow prim-roses…need to go around my St Francis shrine next spring and summer.

      Good luck with your backyard restoration. I look forward to being kept posted on how your plans and the actual work take shape.



  4. Hi, Diane

    Coming to your blog is like opening a beautiful book and coming across one of many wonderful pages.

    This poem reads to me like someone looking back over the various stages of their life (bud, blossoming, withering) and coming to a philosophical conclusion that this is how things are and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps other experiences are tantalisingly just beyond reach (the red rose that isn’t for picking). ‘Thorny prose’ evokes so much too: the difficulty of writing about painful things, as well as the beauty and creativity that can come from pain.

    I especially love these illustrations, particularly the primrose.


    • The ‘meaning’ of this poem rather found me and I have really enjoyed the various interpretations. You know how it is, when you write something and then it writes itself!

      ‘This poem reads to me like someone looking back over the various stages of their life (bud, blossoming, withering) and coming to a philosophical conclusion that this is how things are and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.’

      Yes! I also feel the yellow rose signifies the need to be what we are…and that comes from slowly ‘sipping’ life not drinking it all up at once.

      Primroses are one of my fondest memories of England! (How could the ‘fellow’ in Wordsworth’s poem dismiss them so?) I used to love to search for them in the woods around where I lived. That’s when this painting was done.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful reflection. Have a wonderful week!


  5. This has a melancholy feel about it for me, but not sad if that makes sense.

    The poem brings out the picture and the picture brings out the poem! Both are meant for each other and both beautiful.

    I have quite a dislike for red roses and I’m not sure why. But if anyone wanted to send me a bouquet of “romantic” roses, (anyone?!!) they would have to be yellow!



    • In my experience, melancholy can be very creative and healing. It has been said that writers and artists, etc. tend to wallow in it. Well, if so then like pigs in muck…

      It makes perfect sense to me that this poem affected you so.

      And I’m sending you a virtual bouquet of yellow roses (with only small innocuous thorns), Christine, for your thoughtful comments and welcomed presence in my world.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment!


  6. Nice poem! I think it’s interesting to see different interpretations, but what this poem evoked in me is the different emotions or personalities that can be within a person – the happy (full bloom), the indifferent or level emotions (bud), the sadness (withering), the angry (thorny), the stabilized supported and balanced (the stems and leaves). I may be way off, but those are the feelings I got.


    • Thank you, Fergiemoto! Your interpretation is wonderful and has given more dimension and meaning to the poem than I, at least, consciously thought of while writing it. I so appreciate your reading it with so much attention and creativity. So often words just fall into place and take on a life of their own that even their ‘user’ can ‘learn’ from.

      That is why sharing is the way to increasing understanding.


  7. Lovely poem and I love your painting too.
    Yellow roses evoke in me memories of my mother’s garden as the rose was her favourite flower. Actually there was a peach coloured rose that I loved that she had and when she died I told my father about it and after that he regularly bought me a small bunch of that colour roses. 🙂


  8. I’m trying to explain to myself about this poem and why it touches me, but for some reason I can’t. I get upset when I read it, there is something that reaches out to me, I don’t know what it is.

    Your poem has my fingers tingling and I don’t know why, all I know is for some reason I want to cry. How is that?

    Can you explain to me what the poem is about, what inspired you please?


    • Hi Martin. Thank you for your quick response. I hope I haven’t upset you! One always hopes to affect with one’s writing…but I wouldn’t want to cause a negative reaction that might leave someone depressed.

      I wrote the poem ‘around’ the painting (sometimes it does happen the other way around). Yellow roses signify friendship as opposed to red ones symbolizing passionate love. This poem for me is about acceptance of what may’ve passed me by but also a celebration of what I have left. The garden is still a beautiful and bountiful place, and there is much left to enjoy in the sipping of life.

      I hope that helps!


      • It hasn’t depressed me, I just felt a little sad and I didn’t know why. Perhaps it’s the friendship in the poem mixed with all the friends I have made here in poetry land 🙂

        Thank you for the answer.


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