Friday, 25 March 2016

Italian Violets, spreading eternal love

My teenage heart beat fast reading 'Room with a view' by E.M Forster (1908) and in particular the scene where Lucy and George share a passionate kiss in a field of violets.
E.M.Forster convinces your thirteen year old self that everlasting love exists.

'It isn't possible to love and part....... poets are right: love is eternal.'

The descriptions in the book make you smell the violets, feel the violets.

Lucy is standing on a hillside covered with violets and they run up and down the hillside like rivers of flowers..

In the 1986 film version of 'Room with a view'  by James Ivory, George kisses Lucy in a field of poppies. Violets wouldn't have been able to make such a vivid splash of colour on screen., but poppies don't have the same scent or spectacular end of winter appearance as the violets.

I've always loved violets, and primroses and snowdrops. they arrive at the end of winter, heralding the spring, scenting the air and colouring the earth.
In Italy violets lay like thick carpets among the winter leaves that haven't been blown away. You want lie down in them, rub your face against them, but are also aware that they look fragile  and could be easily crushed.

Violets are special no doubt about it. I also like this quote from Mark Twain, the author of Huckleberry Finn

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.'

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