Once, they exchanged roses;

red and yellow, red and white.

Behold the fair Ophelia

in the witch-hazel night


A striped carnation* ripped to shreds

Is far omitted from her bed

T’was left behind, with aloe threads

And replaced with poppies


Mauve carnations line her dreams

Coreopsis, Celandines

They thought she cried herself to sleep,

yet tears of joy are all she weeps


The nightmare of “reality”

was drowned in her mentality

For there all thorns are but soft silt


where white lilacs never wilt


Softly, the earth became an ocean

and as she drank its soothing potion

the selfsame ocean became skies

and gave her wings to thither fly


With a final flower to endow

a berrirose to seal the vow

loving Hamlet, e’en in death

gifting the water with her last breath

Forever sleep, forever dream

peace despite what it may seem


For the strength to stand alone

Ophelia now is swimming home



Although you are free to purposely misinterpret the authorial intent, I've gotten so many people misunderstanding this particular poem, and underestimating the depth of my poems in general, so I feel a bit of an explanation is in order.

This poem is written heavily based on the language of flowers, with each plant mentioned in the poem representing something specific.


In the version I printed for my mentor to see in RL, I had asterisked each reference and I accidentally left in the one next to carnation, sorry. But here’s a list of the flowers I used and their symbolism for those of you who want to understand the poem better.


Red and yellow roses: joy, happiness, excitement

Red and white roses: unity

witch-hazel: a magic spell

aloe: grief

mauve carnations: dreams of fantasy

celandine: Joys to come

striped carnation: reject, refusal “I can’t be with you”

coreopsis: always cheerful

white lilacs: youthful innocence, memories

berrirose: “Choose your destiny, I won't give up my promise, I'll love you forever”

and the big one –

poppies: eternal sleep, oblivion, and imagination


All in all, the basic message of the poem is that one can be optimistic about any situation. I feel that had Ophelia gone completely insane, she could’ve sung past the tragedy by imagining herself an alternative reality as she initially seemed to begin to do, and held on to life until a point where she could realistically deal with the pain and seek alternative coping methods other than drawing herself into a fantasy or committing suicide. In other words, though the word has placed somewhat of a stigma on those who are “clearly wrong”, filled with “fake optimism” to the point that pessimists are seen as “realists” instead of quick to observe the bad in a situation and slow to note the good, I think that being optimistic is always good, EVEN if taken to an extreme level of obvious fantasy, because it’s a coping method that can save a life.

Hope you enjoy, thanks!

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