northanger (northanger) wrote,
northanger
northanger

National Flowers of Italy

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions of crickets'
And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers,

How did it go?
How did it go?

Forgotten Language, Shel Silverstein

The Italian Bouquet

They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies.The Deadly Poppy Field, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

national flowers of Italy: White Lily & Poppy (but, also the Daisy). "Many European countries do not have a national flower, for instance modern France, Spain and Italy (source). White Lily associated with Florence, "wild poppies abound" in Tuscany & Daisy leaves eaten in Italian salads.

"Alfred Nobel spent his latter years living at a villa called 'The Nest,' in Sanremo, on the Italian Riviera. As a gesture of remembrance (and a promotional kick) Sanremo donates the flowers for the Nobel Banquet each year" {The Nobel Prize Banquet}.

"One of the biggest floral holidays in Italy is Ognissanti (All Saints, Nov. 1) and the following day, All Souls (Nov. 2), when families come together to give departed relatives a heavenly boost" {With a Little Help from My Famiglia}.

"The ancient arms of Florence—a white Lily or Iris on a red shield—seem to indicate that the city was famed for the growth of these plants" {Irises}.

"Ten years previously, in 1985, Dr. Whanger was looking at a photograph of the shroud taken in 1931 when he noticed the faint outline of a flower later identified as the inflorescence of the crown chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum coronarium). Intrigued, the Whangers, amateur photographers, spent thousands of subsequent hours looking at photographs that had been specially enhanced so that the faint images stood out more clearly. They discovered hundreds of flowers, mostly in the vicinity of the figure's head. Comparing the flowers they found with drawings in Michael Zohary and Naomi Feinbrun’s Flora Palaestina, they succeeded in identifying twenty-eight species of plants" {Pressed Flowers}.

"Papaver somniferum: The Poppy of the Holy Mother :: Although the exact origins of the poppy remain uncertain, it seems to have been domesticated in the west Mediterranian by the sixth millennium BC. Several finds of remains poppy seeds have come from neolithic lake villages in Switzerland, and also in Germany and Italy point to widespread domestication in neolithic times" { Twelve Constellations of the Girdle of Gaia}.

Flowers of Florence & Tuscany

Florence (Italian: Firenze) is the capital city of the region of Tuscany, Italy and also capital of the province of Florence. From 1865 to 1870 the city was also the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Florence lies on the Arno River and has a population of around 400,000 people, plus a suburban population in excess of 200,000 persons. A center of medieval European trade and finance, the city is often considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and was long ruled by the Medici family. Florence is also famous for its fine art and architecture. It is said that, of the 1,000 most important European artists of the second millennium, 350 lived or worked in Florence. City Seal: a red Fleur-de-lis on a white background.

Fleur-de-lis (also spelled fleur-de-lys; plural fleurs-de-lis or -lys; an archaic spelling is fleur-de-luce) is used in heraldry, where it is particularly associated with the French monarchy (see King of France). The fleur-de-lis remains an unofficial symbol of France (along with the Bees and the napoleonic eagle) ... The variant fleur-de-luce has been interpreted as meaning "flower of light" since lux (oblique stem luc-) is Latin for "light". Origins The name translates into English as "lily flower", and the symbol is in fact a stylized Iris Pseudacorus [see: Examples of Iris species]. It was adopted by King Philip I of France in the 11th century. His grandson Louis VII was the first to adopt the Azure semé-de-lys Or (a blue shield with a tight pattern of small golden fleur-de-lis) as his badge, and this came to be so closely associated with his country that it is now known as "France Ancient". Three gold flowers on a blue background ("France Modern") dates to 1376 and Charles V of France. The fleur-de-lis' origins with French monarchs stems from the baptismal lily used in the crowning of King Clovis I. Asteroids: #7-IRIS & #13638 FIORENZA, #3122-FLORENCE (named for William B. Florence, American astronomer), #9427-RIGHINI (Alberto Righini, Italian astronomer at the University of Florence and Arcetri), #9640-LIPPENS (Suzanne Lippens, WWI Belgian nurse - awarded Croix de Guerre & Florence Nightingale Medal).

Tuscany (Italian Toscana) is a region in central Italy, bordering on Latium to the south, Umbria and Marche to the east, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria to the north, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. It is often regarded as among the most beautiful parts of Italy. Tuscany was essentially the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and its artistic heritage includes architecture, painting and sculpture, collected in dozens of museums, the best-known of which is the Uffizi in Florence and in situ in even quite small cities ... Notable tourist destinations in Tuscany include Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Barga, the Maremma, the Crete Senesi, the Lunigiana and Garfagnana areas, and the island of Elba ... The region is noted for the production of wine, notably Chianti, one of the most famous wines in Italy. Also cattle (particularly the famous 'Fiorentina' steak) and the production of olive oil, principally in Lucca and the surrounding hills. Asteroids: #11359-PITEGLIO, #14486-TUSCIA (Tuscany) & #11595-MONSUMMANO.

Agrippa's Flowers

For the Moon we make a suffumigation of the head of a Frog dryed [dried], the eyes of a Bull, the seed of white Poppy, Frankincense, and Camphir [camphor], which must be incorporated with Menstruous blood, or the blood of a Goose. For Saturne take the seed of black Poppy, of Henbane, root of Mandrake, the Load-stone [loadstone], and Myrrh, and make them up with the brain of a Cat, or the blood of a Bat {Fumious Things, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa}

"Amongst Plants, and Trees the Daffodill, Dragon-wort [dragon's wort], Rue, Cummin [cumin], Hellebor [Hellebore], the tree from whence Benzoine comes, Mandrake, Opium, and those things which stupifie, and those things which are never sown, and never bear fruit, and those which bring forth berries of a dark colour, and black fruit, as the black Fig-tree, the Pine-tree, the Cypress-tree, and a certain tree used at burials, which never springs afresh with berries, rough, of a bitter tast [taste], of a strong smell, of a black shadow, yielding a most sharp pitch, bearing a most unprofitable fruit, never dies with age, deadly, dedicated to Pluto, as is the Hearb [herb] pas-flower, with which they were wont Anciently to strow the graves before they put the dead bodies into them, wherefore it was lawfull to make their Garlands at feasts with all Hearbs [herbs], and Flowers besides pas-flowers, because it was mournfull, and not conducing to mirth" {Saturnine Things, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa}.

Moreover the whole Orb of the Earth is distributed by Kingdoms, and Provinces to the Planets, and Signes: For Macedonia, Thracia, Illyria, Arriana, Gordiana, (many of which countries are in the lesser Asia) are under Saturne with Capricorn; but with Aquarius, under him are the Sauromatian Country, Oxiana, Sogdiana, Arabia, Phazania, Media and Æthiopia [Ethiopia], which Countries for the most part belong to the more inward Asia. Under Jupiter with Sagittarius are Tuscana, Celtica, Spaine, and happy Arabia ... &etc {Provinces & Kingdomes}

Italian Heraldry

Like other Tuscan cities, Florence was part of the marquessate of Tuscany, and thus under the jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Emperor. After Mathilde left her estates to the Pope in 1115, the line of local imperial representatives was broken, and the cities of Tuscany increasingly asserted their independence, although they were racked by internal strife between partisans of the Emperor (the Ghibellines) and those of the Papacy (the Guelfs) ... The Florentine fleur-de-lys has a peculiar shape, which is usually indicated as "flory", but not easily described. Here is a classic rendition in inlaid marble, in the typical medieval Italian shield {Heraldry in Tuscany}.

"The arms of the Republic are as follows: - [1] A white lily on a red field. The giglio was the most ancient device of the city. ... [3] A red lily on a white field. These arms of Florence, dating from 1250, created on the conclusion of a fray between Florence and Pistoia, when the Guelphic faction obtained the supremacy in Florence, and expelled the Ghibellines from the city. The Ghibellines, however, retained the white lily, and added the imperial device of the double-headed eagle, which Dante alludes to as Il Santo Uccello or L' Uccello di Dio. The poet also alludes, in the last lines of the 16th canto of the "Paradiso," to the change of colour in the shield, where he places the following words into the mouth of his ancestor, Caccia Guida: With all these families beheld so just / And glorious her people, that the lily / Never upon the spear was placed reversed / Nor by division was vermilion made (Divine Comedy of Dante. Trans., H. W. Longfellow)" {Walks in Florence}

Remembrance Day

"The poppy of wartime remembrance is the red corn poppy, (Papaver rhoeas). This poppy is a common weed in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders Field. Artificial, paper versions of this poppy are in many countries worn to commemorate those killed in World War I. In Canada, they are worn in remembrance of dead soldiers in general" {Poppy}.

"The World War I Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial lies on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium, along the Lille-Gent AutoRoute E-17. It is located 175 miles north of Paris, France and 46 miles west of Brussels. The cemetery is within 30 miles of Brugge (Brugges) and Gent (Gand), the two largest cities in Flanders ... In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses row on row / That mark our place; and in the sky (In Flanders Fields)" {Flanders Field - #1052-BELGICA, Belgium}.

"Remembrance Day or Armistice Day is a day of commemoration observed in the Commonwealth of Nations and various European countries (including France and Belgium) to commemorate World War I and other wars. It is observed on November 11 to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918. Remembrance Day is specifically dedicated to members of the armed forces who were killed during war, and was created by King George V of the United Kingdom on November 7, 1919 upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey" {Remembrance Day}

{A Memorial in Scarlet}

Angela Carter & The Bloody Chamber

"Angela Carter shows through her collection of short stories, The Bloody Chamber, that she has just such a nerve of iron as Georges Bataille suggests is needed for perceiving the connection between life and death. Even the illustration on the front cover of this slim volume suggests the eroticism of life and the sensuality of death: a dewy, white lily with a phallic stamen jutting from its hidden center emerges through a rupture in dry, flat ground. Around the base of the lily, thick black cords of stem wrap themselves in vertiginous, maze-like coils. Like the book itself, the lily is a kind of bloody chamber, for it has droplets of blood on its interior and exterior walls where the stem's sharp thorns have pricked it.

"What makes this illustration interesting is its kaleidoscopic quality. One moment the lily represents life and the next moment, death. Because of the lily's lush, white petals, it seems bloated with fecund vegetable vitality, and yet lilies are known as burial flowers, funeral decor, the stuff of a dead man's nosegay. Even the blood that trickles down the sides of the lily and splashes onto its leaves has an ambiguous quality, for it suggests both the vitality of the circulatory system and the mortality of flesh."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Obviously, this narrative could be Carter's, for in "The Bloody Chamber" the narrator describes herself as a seventeen-year-old girl with "pointed breasts and shoulders" (8) and her husband as a man much older than she is, a fact to which attest the "streaks of pure silver in his dark mane" (9). We know that he is very much a stranger to her when she says that his face sometimes appeared to her as a mask that concealed his "real" face. Upon arrival at his castle "with its turrets of misty blue, its courtyard, its spiked gate" (13), the young bride, like the young bride in Rebecca, is introduced to the housekeeper ... After ransacking his desk and discovering a file marked "Personal" that contains letters from his former wives, she makes her way to the one room the marquis has asked her not to enter, a room that contains the remains of his three murdered wives.

{Angela Carter} {Angela (Olive) Carter (1940-1992) - #835-OLIVIA}


Consider the lilies of the field. —Matthew 6:28

XCVIII
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.

—Shakespeare

Links: {Botanical Gardens in Italy} {Coat of arms of Italy} {Turin Province Coat of Arms} {Turin Province Flag} {Piedmont Region Flag} {Turin Flag} {Turin Papyrus Map} {Pre-Platonic Writings Pertinent to Atlantis} {Interpretation of the Turin Papyrus} {The Turin Canon} {Eros in Egypt} {The Egyptian 'Lotus'} {California Poppy, state flower} {Hecate, associated with opium poppy} {Bush Poppy, native to California} {Robert Mapplethorpe's Flowers} {Konyaku -- Devil and Angel} {Flowers as Weather-Casters} {Nazis & Flowers} {Ostara - #343-OSTARA} {Eostre} {Easter} {Allium neapolitanum, native to Italy} {Botany Photo of the Day} {Flower Mandalas Project}

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