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Other Mens Flowers

What is this all about?

“I have gathered a posse of other men’s flowers and nothing but the threads that binds them is my own” This was written by Montaigne, but I got it from An Anthology of Poetry that I found in a second hand bookstore many years ago called “Other Mens Flowers” . The compiler was Field-Marshal Viscount Wavell, who fought in the Boer War, and World War 1, ending up at his retirement as Viceroy of India. He was certainly a product of another time, when reading poetry was probably akin to watching unbox, or cat video’s on Youtube.


In his words, “I have borrowed his title, my memory being the binding thread”. Based on what he writes in the foreword, the anthology is made up of poetry that he could recite. Given the book is over 400 pages, and has some very long and complicated pieces, this is an amazing piece of work. I offer no such threads. For me, the threads that bind are my thoughts on other peoples words, what they mean to me.


I have always been fascinated the way that certain phrases, parts of books, poems, lyrics stick with me, and make me think deeply about what they might mean. Sometimes it prompts additional research, but more often than not, the thinking is purely internal, what does it mean to me, how does it fit into my map of the world. Sometimes it is because it challenges my beliefs, sometimes because it resonates with one of my existing beliefs. There is really no rhyme (pun intended) or reason to it.


I think about these things, but I have decided to start writing some of them down, partly because I like to write, but don’t make the time for it other than my 10 minute journal I try to do every day. The other part, is a hope that writing out my thoughts will help me think more deeply, keep me focused for longer on some of these ideas, hopefully leading to deeper insights, and new meanings discovered.


I have many ideas about potential subjects, poetry, song, famous speeches, books, parts of books, maybe even reflecting on characters out of books. This is my muse, and I ask any one who may read, or listen to these ramblings to understand, and respect this. I am not a student of literature, I don’t consider myself to be well read and did poorly in English at school. These are my thoughts about what other peoples words mean to me. They may mean something entirely different to someone else, and even the original author.


Always bear in mind I am talking about what the words mean to me. In that, I can never be wrong, so please refrain from telling me I am wrong, because in this domain, I can’t be. I would love to hear what the words mean to you, and about other pieces that you think may be of interest to me.


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2 Comments

  1. Kate

    Love this Cam! But how do I subscribe?

    • Cameron Ely

      If you are not using a blog reader, the RSS feed wont work. I am working an an email thing, hope to have it sorted in the next week or so. I’ll FB the new posts, so you should know then

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