London roses

London roses
The poem "London roses" is a poem that tells the vision of London, written down in the earliest years of the twentieth century. A poem was written by Willa Carther.

The poem London roses is a poem that tells the vision of London, written down in the earliest years of the twentieth century. A poem was written by Willa Carther.

About the poetess

It’s not often, that one comes across a poem of Willa Carther. That is too bad since this writer also composed some beautiful poetry. She is more famous as a writer of essays and novels than as a poetess. Carther was also a gifted poetess.

Read more in the biography of this American writer, editor, critic, and poetess.


About the poem

One cannot help the feeling to think about the film Mary Poppins when reading the first line of this beautiful poem. These words are transformed in the right way, to match those who sell roses in London.

In this poem, all the important places – at least, according to Carther, are mentioned. She creates a link, to those nice smelling roses and the long history of the city of London.

It’s something else than London Bridge, that we published before. This is a beautifully composed tribute to this city.

London roses

London roses


“ROWSES, Rowses! Penny a bunch!” they tell you–

Slattern girls in Trafalgar, eager to sell you.

Roses, roses, red in the Kensington sun,

Holland Road, High Street, Bayswater, see you and smell you–

Roses of London town, red till the summer is done.


Roses, roses, locust and lilac, perfuming

West End, East End, wondrously budding and blooming

Out of the black earth, rubbed in a million hands,

Foot-trod, sweat-sour over and under, entombing

Highways of darkness, deep gutted with iron bands.


“Rowses, rowses! Penny a bunch!” they tell you,

Ruddy blooms of corruption, see you and smell you,

Born of stale earth, fallowed with squalor and tears–

North shire, south shire, none are like these, I tell you,

Roses of London perfumed with a thousand years.


Willa Carther

The city as inspiration

Many poets have tried to write down their feelings as it comes to the city they find to be important. Sometimes it’s the city they live in. Sometimes it’s the city they visited or thought about. What is your favorite city and did you ever write a poem about this city? We love to share this poem on our website! Send us your poem using this link.

London roses
Article Name
London roses
A well-written poem by Willa Carther (1873 - 1947) about the city of London.
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

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