My nosegays are for captives

My nosegays are for captives

Flowers in a Blue Vase – June 1887 by Vincent Van Gogh

My nosegays are for captives

My nosegays are for captives;
Dim, long-expectant eyes,
Fingers denied the plucking,
Patient till paradise.

To such, if they should whisper
Of morning and the moor,
They bear no other errand,
And I, no other prayer.

— Emily Dickinson

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  • So lovely, both. There is something so joyful about the vase of many varieties and colours of flowers, and how intensely sweet that whiff of open air and private garden is. When my grandmother was in hospital she used to receive posies of garden flowers brought to her with hungry love. She would admire each flower.

    • That is arresting. I read it as being limited by “to such” but also limited in a sense by the “errand” and the conditional “if.” The nosegays’ errand is to whisper of morning and the moor and Emily’s prayer for them is that they do such. I saw her prayer as tied to the nosegays’ errand, her prayer *for* the noesgays, if you will. A sort of “that would be enough.”