Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

April 10, 2011

The Bay Leaf


CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

THE BAY LEAF

     David selected the sweet bay as a symbol of prosperity, probably because of its never-changing greenness and its pleasant spicy fragrance of its leaves.

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     It’s been said that the nymph Daphne, while being pursued by Apollo, commanded that the bay tree should bear its leaves both in summer and in winter, and that these leaves should be used to “crown all who excelled in courage, service, or the creation of beauty.: Our present word baccalaureate means laurel berries and alludes to the wearing of bay wreathes by poets and scholars. A crown of bay leaves was a reward of genius.

     Bay is supposed to have been given oracles and soothsayers the power of prophecy. It kept away misfortunes and protected a house from lightning. The Roman emperor, Tiebeius, who lived between 42 B. C. and 37 A. D., is said to have had such faith in the efficiency of the bay that during electrical storms he would place a bay leaf wreath on his head and hide under his bed.

     So powerful was the bay tree that its decay was considered an omen of disaster, a certain omen of death. Read Shakespeare:

Tis that the king is dead; we will not stay:

The bay trees in our country are all withered.

   The bay tree continues to be a symbol of glory and resurrection.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

March days to celebrate

Myths Writers Believe

Time

Mad Hatters, Johnny Depp, and Alice in Wonderland

www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com

www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com

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