When the Roses Stop Growing by Amalia Moghadasnia

1 Dec

People say that sometimes, you need to stop and smell the roses. But in “Neglect” by R.T Smith, sometimes, the roses become old, neglected and then dies. Smith alludes to the human instinct to observe rather than take care of aspects of their life.

The poem starts off as the narrator stares at the destruction of the apple boughs from his beloved tree. He then begins to wonder how the tree got to this point. On many cases, people get so caught up in life that they only see the good things. They acknowledge the beauty, but then assume that the beauty will maintain itself. It is an irrepressible side effect of the laziness that plagues the human race. People do not want to believe that they have to work to keep something beautiful, but instead insist that some divine power keeps it so. But in the end, they are left with “an armload of applewood now feeding the stove’s smolder” (Smith).

The overly cliché saying about the roses, and smelling them is an inaccurate phrase of advice to give to someone who is overly occupied with worldly matters. Just stopping to appreciate something does not a happy world make. Oblivious people should be told to stop and tend to the roses; or else people can become “too callow to believe that death’s inevitable for anything being unloved, untended” (Smith). Inexperience and neglect breed calamity. Many businesses, and relationships fail due to neglect from one or all parties involved. Although things could seem okay, people then get caught up in the expectations they have for perfection or normalcy and act surprised when things fall apart.

The narrator in R.T Smith’s poem “Neglect” witnessed the demise of his fruit tree, without actually witnessing the slow decline in the tree’s livelihood. The infamous human laziness causes calamity among personal and universal situations because the human race is too busy to tend to its fruit tree.


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