The header picture is a poppy in the front garden. It was taken at about 10 am and the petals are still crumpled from being in the bud. They don’t last long, by 2 pm, as a previous photo showed, they are already losing their petals. It’s a hard life being a poppy. As a man who is crumpled from life, and has bits falling off, I sympathise with these flowers.
I am, as I have often mentioned, 61 years old, and have spoken English all my life. I have read extensively and must have heard millions of words spoken. Today, on Pointless, I heard about tall poppies for the first time.
It seems it is a well known idiom, but it has passed me by. It’s not one of these words that has suddenly appeared either, it was first used in English in 1710 and dates back to Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last King of Rome.
It is also, it seems, a common figure of speech in Australia and New Zealand.
I feel happy to have found a new concept in English, but very ignorant not to have already known it.
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
This is another stock photo, as none of my poppies look particularly tall.
I will leave you with a link to a poem about tall nettles by Edward Thomas. I’ve put it in the blog several times, so sorry to be repetitive, but I can’t think of too many poems featuring tall flowers.
According to Thomas’s Wikipedia entry the Petersfield Museum holds 1,800 books about Thomas in a study centre. I think I’ve read three. The feeling of ignorance persists…