Cypress symbolism

Skip James (good piece by Matt R Lohr) exited the world in roughly the same fashion Keith Douglas entered:

Skip James (good piece by Matt R Lohr) exited the world in roughly the same fashion Keith Douglas entered:

hairless I came howling in
as the moon entered the cold sky

Last night I saw the Wenders film, which is extraordinarily embarrassing in a peculiarly German fashion, and which features Nehemiah Curtis James howling hairless about killing his women. I haven’t spent much time in North American cemeteries but it was reasonably good to hear him sing:

I would rather be buried in some cypress grove
To have some woman, Lord, that I can’t control

(Italian) cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) symbolise death here too, is what I tell people on walks like this, but then I start recalling the avenues planted near farms… Google, however, provides a cure for all our troubles, an end to all distress, informing us that the cypress in fact symbolizes (not much symbolising going on in Brit English):

  1. the courage and strength of the Chinese people, their simple, and hard working nature and their defiance in the face of aggression.
  2. nobility, mortality, and eternity… “the dark green shape of the cypress which rises out of the arid soil… the solitary sentinel who reminds passers-by that nothing is lasting and all is fleeting…” (pg. 164), “… the noble tree that hedges so many villas in the North [of Italy] and as many cemeteries in the South [as Heavenly pointers].”
  3. high thoughts.
  4. sadness and morning (sic; I often feel sad in the morning).
  5. longevity, a core aspect of friendship.
  6. mourning, death and eternal life. (This is actually a good site, telling us that the cypress “came into fashion as a gravestone symbol in the 1850s for the Pennsylvania Germans.”)
  7. a black finger
    pointing upward
  8. bravery and resistance among the Bakhtiyari tribe.
  9. tenderness and fragrance
  10. the proffering of a glass of water to passersby.
  11. male virility, potency and strength.

I’m not planning on buying a cypress any time soon.

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