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'A Rose is a Rose is a Rose'

Updated on June 19, 2011

a play on words...

A rose is a rose, is a rose…  We’ve all heard that before, but do we know where it is found, or why it is said?  How about, what does it mean?  It was first used in a poem by Gertrude Stein in the 1913 poem Sacred Emily and it appeared in the book Geography and Plays in 1922.  The full sentence was ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” with the first “Rose” being a name.  Later, variations on the original sentence in other writings were more simply written as ‘a rose is a rose is a rose’ which is just a play on words meaning “things are what they are”.

Do you grow roses?

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blooming in the mist
blooming in the mist

I Love You...

As I started this writing the introductory phrase came to mind and I was baffled as to its meaning and felt I needed to clear that up first if nothing else within my own mind.  Getting that out of the way, I now assume the ‘rose’ is the most popular flower of all time and yet most people have the least knowledge about it other than the fact they are pretty, they sure smell sweet, and women like to receive them at various times of the year.  Roses mean ‘I Love You’ and we certainly need a lot more of that these days, don’t we?        

We find the arrangement of the petals a mystery to say the least and the fragrance unmatched and yet people with allergies or asthma sometimes become overwhelmed with the ‘musky’ fragrance of roses.  Personally, I sometimes sneeze when I’m around roses.  I assume the histamines in my body are released in response to theallergen exposure to the roses, but by taking Zyrtec or other allergy medication I seem to tolerate exposure a lot better.  Working outside with the roses doesn’t seem to bother me as long as I have taken my medication beforehand.  Some people’s skin is so sensitive they actually have been diagnosed with a condition known as Contact Dermatitis, and by coming in contact with the rose extract found in many fragrances their skin breaks out in a rash.

pretty pink
pretty pink

roses have been around for thousands of years...

The rose bush is a perennial with over a hundred different species known at this time, and are not as plentiful in the United States as they are in Asia. Fossil records depicting rose petals show that roses have been around for thousands of years and we know rose bushes were grown during Roman times and China and France cultivated them prior to the 18th century.  The beauty of the flowers alone is what has launched the rose bush to its fame all over the world.  Along with the many colors and fragrance the mere shape of the individual flowers make them somewhat unique the world over.

The characteristics of the old time roses have been maintained while current breeding practices have increase the tolerance level and hardiness considerably.  Experimentation and hybridization has produced more hardy varieties and sizes so that you’re certain to find a suitable bush to fit in that vacant spot of your own yard.  From large bushes to the miniature tea roses, outside or those you can grow in pots inside, and just about any color you can image.   You can find just about anything you might want in roses.  

just a bud
just a bud

a thorn is...

But along with the beauty of the roses also comes the presence of the thorns. Wikipedia says that actually the ‘stickers’ are not thorns at all but ‘prickles’, an outgrowth of the epidermis or outer layer of tissue in the stem itself. It sounds like a ‘play on words’ to me, thorns, stickers or prickles. Evidently, the definition of a thorn is the modification of a stem(?) whatever that means. Maybe someone could just say, a thorn is a thorn is a thorn…

© 2011 SamSonS


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be really something that I believe I’d by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and very extensive for me. I am looking ahead on your subsequent publish, I’ll try to get the dangle of it!

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Tennessee

      thank you so much Patsybell for visiting and leaving your nice comments. Also appreciate your ratings...

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Glad I read this hub. I was misguided and thought this was a line from Shakespear. I was thinking of Shakespeare's 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet'. Voted up, useful, tweet, pin,

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Tennessee

      Yes DDE, I suppose the rose is the most famous and loved of all flowers...

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Roses are beautiful and like all colors too

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      thanks sweetie1 for responding to my hub. Roses sure smell sweet...

    • sweetie1 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      samson , u know roses are sureshot way to a girls heart and as William Shakespeare said rose by any other name would still smell same.

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      thank you anusha15 for your visit and your unique and encouraging comment...

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 

      7 years ago from Delhi, India

      The hub was a perfect blend of an historic description, emotive vitalness and scientific factors. And the presence of thorns was there to denote a sense of completion... After all, its human nature to not appreciate the roses if they were without thorns. :)

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      thank you dahoglund for you kind remarks. Personally, I never read any of Ms Stein's work either...

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      In college i heard much about Gertrude Stein but I have never read her. My Sister, Wife and niece are all named Rose Marie so I should be more aware of roses.

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      thank you Cristina for your visit and also for your nice remarks as always.


    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      7 years ago from Manila

      Great and interesting hub. A rose indeed is a flower of love, very beautiful to the eyes. Thank you for sharing this information about roses. Remain blessed always and best regards.

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      *thank you jill of alltrades for your nice comments...

      *and thank your Lady_E for your kindness, and Happy Easter to you as well - He is Risen!

    • Lady_E profile image


      7 years ago from London, UK

      This is beautiful. I enjoyed reading it.

      Happy Easter.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      Wonderful hub! I love roses!

      Voted up and beautiful!

      I also wrote something on roses, "roses are red and pink and...", maybe you would link to link up?

    • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      *thanks Fiddleman for your fine comments...

      *and thank you drpastorcarlotta, for your ratings and nice remarks...

      *and you also Tammy, for sharing this nice reminisce with us and no, I did not know about the the annual events in Tyler. While researching the info for this hub I did run across this question. Who would ever give someone a black rose...

      thank you Frog for your kind ratings and for passing this hub to your Princess...

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      7 years ago from Arlington, TX

      I'll pass this on to The Frog Princess. She's a rose freak of the greatest magnitude.

      Thanks for sharing and voted up and useful.

      The Frog

    • Tammy L profile image

      Tammy L 

      7 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Sam, I don't know if you know this but Tyler, Texas is known as "The Rose Capital of America". One of Tyler's biggest attractions is the huge rose garden. I remember seeing a black rose growing in this massive rose garden when I was a child. Every fall, the city holds a Rose Parade with a young debutante elected that year's Rose Queen. The high schools play in a football stadium named Rose Stadium.


    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      7 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Beautiful Hub, I LIKE!!!! Voted-up!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub and I really enjoy the aroma of a rose.


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