Current Affairs

Summer Bouquet

Peggy Noonan writes from London:

When I was a young woman I found all beauty and fascination in people. I found flowers boring. I ignored them when I saw them, or turned away. I think I felt they got in the way of my understanding Kafka and Sartre. I think I also thought flowers were something old ladies do to make things prettier because they don’t understand the tragedy of life.

Now I think people who put flowers all over the place are the only geniuses. They know flowers are an unasked-for and essentially unearned bit of beauty given to us perhaps to suggest other, greater beauty to come. They’re in Einstein-land, gardeners, and thinking of eternity. And I thought they were just retards with spades.