Are You Conscious Of The Pleasure You Give?

Rockery bulbs

So fair, so sweet, so sensitive,
Would that the little Flowers were born to live,
Conscious of half the pleasure that they give…

William Wordsworth

I’m sharing this for the weekly photo challenge from my favourite poetry anthology, Minorities: poems T.E. Lawrence hand-copied to a small, leather-bound notebook he kept with him.

Anemone blanda

In a letter to Charlotte Shaw, he explained the special note that runs through the anthology:

Some are the small poems of big men: others the better poems of small men. One necessary qualification was that they should be in a minor key: another was that they should sing a little bit.

It’s easy to frown at the words ‘big men… small men’, but one of the rewards of close friendship is that we write or speak freely, confident that if we can but half-express our thoughts, our listener understands our nature, so will not judge us harshly.


It’s a poet’s fancy, but wouldn’t it be lovely if flowers did have some consciousness of the pleasure they give us?

I always relate a poem to the human level. If we feel that it would be nice for a flower to know it gives us happiness – if we can imagine that might encourage the petals to unfurl and the flower to stand that tiny bit more proud – wouldn’t it be nice if we had a sure understanding of the pleasure we give to others?

And if we were sure that the people closest to us understood the pleasure they give us?

Dedicated to my sweetheart, mother, father and sister. 


11 Replies to “Are You Conscious Of The Pleasure You Give?”

    1. The lines came back to me when I saw the tiny white flowers on a rockery at Harlow Carr gardens. It’s funny how poetry works like that – or the words of a song.

    1. You make a good point. It’s easier to focus on the things we don’t get quite right – I’d never claim to be an unmitigated pleasure to anyone 🙂 – but that just makes it even more important for us to celebrate the good bits.

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