• Amy Claire

The Art of Pressing Flowers

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Pick out a flower,⠀

The younger the better.⠀

Maybe the shrinking violet ⠀

Or the rose that’s still budding.⠀

Remove her layers,⠀

Break off awkward parts and petals you don’t like, ⠀

Strip her down to perfection.⠀

Dry her out for a few days.⠀

Starve her from light, water and affection⠀

Straighten her spine with firm fingers⠀

Before crushing her,⠀

Quickly, silently, so she doesn’t have a chance to call for help⠀

Watch her colours stain the sheets⠀

Hear her lungs collapse under your weight ⠀

Smell her perfumed skin turn musty.⠀

Keep her suffocated by your strength for a week or two,⠀

Until every drop of fight is drained ⠀

Next, press her to paper before framing her,⠀

A trophy to hang in your living room.⠀

Look at how she has shrunk into something so fragile,⠀

Never to grow,⠀

Never to know the beauty of her uniqueness, ⠀

Never able to leave you⠀

Only needing to be replaced when her petals wrinkle and grey.⠀

Or until something more beautiful, pliable and desirable catches your eye. ⠀

Otherwise, she will never be more than ⠀

The flower you have groomed,⠀

The lady you have forged, ⠀

The beauty you have preserved⠀

This is your turn at playing God,⠀

This is your masterpiece,⠀

This is the art of pressing flowers.⠀


I started this poem years ago. Initially, it was written about judgemental, controlling lovers who want to change their gfs into something 'perfect'. But, having recently re-worked and added to it I think it also relates to society's obsession with girls looking perfect. As well as the pressure often placed on girls by coaches, agents, and parents. This isn't to say boys don't endure the same. It was just written as part of a much larger project that dove into my experience with anxiety, bullying, low self-esteem, and depression when I was younger. I am in no way encouraging people to treat people like this. I just wanted to point out that some people treat others the same way people press flowers. I actually really love drying and pressing flowers. More people should definitely do more of that, and less of trying to control and change the uniqueness of people.