Plants in Literature by Patsy Raynor

Our June meeting began with a big thank you to Pat Wood who has been our Chair person for 11 years and has carried out wonderfully this vital role for the club.

Our speaker for the evening was Patsy Raynor.  Patsy took us through an enchanting evening showing how plants have been used in literature by writers throughout the ages to express the natural world.  Just about everything in life, whatever emotion or situation has been expressed by writers and poets using references to plants and flowers.

Bog garden at Forde Abbey

From parables in the bible, Roman and Greek texts, to Chaucer, Keats, and Shakespeare to name only a few, they all express themselves with references to the natural world.  We had several interesting examples such as the fact that the herb basil has become associated through time with love and misfortune.  Hence Keats poem “Isabella”.  Chaucer used flowers to send out a message of paradise as this was how he viewed a garden environment.

Later on Patsy employed her school teacher hat and asked us all to recite Wordsworth’s “Daffodils”.  Suddenly we were all transported back a few years, or more, to old school days.  Somehow most of us just about managed some of the poem without having done any prep for the occasion.  Our memory banks may have been a little jaded but it was a fun and nostalgic ending to our evening.

Thank you Patsy for a super evening.