It’s pretty hard not to think about daisies these days. They are everywhere when I drive from place to place. Fields are white with them. My land is covered with their cheeriness.
So I’ve been thinking about the connotations of daisies. To me, they are a fun, lively, lighthearted, gregarious flower, and the sight of them stirs up positive emotions. In contrast, I felt entirely less happy and even a bit angry when the fields in these environs were filled with dandelions just a few weeks ago. Supposedly they are both weeds, invasive species, but I love the one and dislike the other. My differing feelings towards these two flowers make me examine the connotations of other flowers. How do I feel about irises? Tulips? Sunflowers? Roses?
All this just proves the power of the words we choose when we write. Consider the following line of writing: “He stopped on his way home to bring her flowers.” This is an acceptable line, but it could be made powerful and instructive and helpful to your writing if you’d add a few strategic words. Try adding a specific type of flower to the above phrase:
He stopped along the roadside to gather an armful of daisies.
He stopped: at the 7-11 and hastily picked up the day’s last, wilted rose.
“ “ at the fanciest florist where he spared no expense for the rare white orchid.
“ “ at the farm market for a dozen tall sunflowers.
With just one detail, a reader can learn much about a character. There is a difference between iris and sunflowers, gladiolus and goldenrod.
Add a flower to a line of your poetry prose. Now substitute it with a different flower. Does it change or add to the meaning? What’s the connotation of your flower? What’s the feeling you want to convey?