Thoughts on Pansies

     And what an appropriate title that is, as in the symbolic language of flowers, pansies do in fact mean thoughts.  The large pansies of today are cultivated cousins of the wild pansy, also known as Johnny-jump-up, Heartsease, and Love in Idleness.    

     Shakespeare referenced the pansy in at least two of his more well known plays.  In Hamlet, Ophelia remarks, “There’s pansies, that’s for thoughts.”   In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon, the fairy king, asks Puck to bring him a pansy.  The juice of the pansy, when laid upon the eyelids of a sleeping person will cause him to fall madly in love with the next creature he lays eyes upon.  The wild cousins of the pansy have often been used in love potions and herbal medicine.

    A symbolic language of flowers has been in use for centuries.  The Victorians took this language to new heights, assigning each flower a complex emotional meaning…. the various emotions (both positive and negative) were often incredibly subtle.  A bouquet of various posies would not only be pleasing to the eye, but could communicate a multitude of hidden meanings to it’s intended.  Victorians are credited with the quaint and charming custom of slipping a pansy into their beutifully written letters just to let the recipient know that they were in the writer’s thoughts.  

The pansy could also be combined with another flower to express “thoughts of marriage,” “thoughts of admiration,” “thoughts of comfort,” etc….

     I’ve been making various pansies here and there for the last week or so for a special project I am working on.  When completed, I hope this project will convey thoughts of joy.   I’ve had such fun playing with these wired ribbon pansies.  I’ve turned this one into a broach.


You are in my thoughts!


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