Hugo von Hofmannsthal

(1 February 1874 – 15 July 1929 / Vienna)

The Rose And The Desk - Poem by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

I know that flowers never fall out of open windows by themselves. Especially not at night. But that's beside the point. Anyway, the red rose suddenly lay before my black patent leather shoes in the white snow covering the street. The rose was very dark, like velvet, still slender, not yet unfolded, and without fragrance because of the cold. I took it with me, put it in a small Japanese vase on my desk and went to bed.
I woke up soon afterwards. There was a dim light in the room, not from the moon but from the stars. Inhaling, I felt the perfume of the now warm rose drift over and overheard a whispered conversation. The china rose on the old Viennese ink set was dropping remarks about something. »He doesn't have any taste, any style left,« it said, »not a trace of taste.« Meaning me. »Or else he couldn't possibly have put something like that next to me.« Meaning the live rose.

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 3, 2012

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