a photo of rose quotes with roses in a vase

Ah, roses. The world’s most recognizable and romantic flower has grown to represent much more than vibrant shades and intricate blossoms. Thanks to literature and its many references to the rose, the beautiful bloom and its accompanying thorns have come to represent hope, life, and, of course, love.

To celebrate this gorgeous flower and all that it symbolizes, we’ve compiled some of the most memorable rose quotes from iconic literary works and inspirational figures. Read on to add a rosy touch to your day.

Beauty in the brevity and rarity of roses

  1. “A single rose can be my garden; a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia
  2. “If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.” – Therese of Lisieux
  3. “One rose says more than the dozen.” – Wendy Craig
  4. “Loveliest of lovely things are they on earth that soonest pass away. The rose that lives its little hour is prized beyond the sculpted flower.” – William Cullen Bryant
  5. “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” – Antoine de Saint–Exupéry, The Little Prince
  6. “Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time.” – Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
  7. “God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.” – J.M. Barrie
  8. “Of all flowers, methinks a rose is best.” – William Shakespeare, The Two Noble Kinsmen
  9. “I suppose all great happiness is a little sad. Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses.“ – F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
a photo of rose quotes with a woman smelling roses

Every rose has its thorns

  1. “Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
  2. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Alphonse Karr, Lettres Écrites De Mon Jardin
  3. “He that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” – Anne Brontë, The Narrow Way
  4. “Truths and roses have thorns about them.” – Henry David Thoreau
  5. “The sharp thorn often produces delicate roses.” – Ovid
  6. “She who loves roses must be patient and not cry out when she is pierced by thorns.” – Sappho
  7. “It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses.” – Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
  8. “Life is uncertain. Today you get a rose. Tomorrow you feel the thorns.” – Shillpi S Banerrji
  9. “If you don’t feel the pointed things in life, you’ll soon take the soft ones for granted.” – John Everson, Cage of Bones & Other Deadly Obsessions
  10. “A rose does not answer its enemies with words, but with beauty.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

Love and roses

A photo of rose quotes with a man giving a woman a bouquet of roses
  1. “The sweetest flower that blows, I give you as we part. For you it is a Rose, for me it is my heart.” – Frederick Peterson, The Sweetest Flower That Blows
  2. “Love is like the wild rose.” – Emily Brontë, The Complete Poems
  3. “Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet.” – Katharine Lee Bates
  4. “That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, he said to my hear, and made it a hundred times more beautiful.” – Rumi
  5. “Can anyone remember love? It’s like trying to summon up the smell of roses in a cellar. You might see a rose, but never the perfume.” – Arthur Miller
  6. “Friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
  7. “I took a rose from a vase and fastened it in her sash. She sighed a sign of ineffable satisfaction, as if her cup of happiness were now full.” – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  8. “In a rose, all love stories fit.” – Efrat Cybulkiewicz
  9. “Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.” – Richard Brinsley Sheridan
  10. “Something with inner beauty will live forever, like the scent of a rose.” – Alex Flinn
  11. “Love and a red rose can’t be hid.” – Thomas Holcroft
  12. “Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton, A Night in Italy
  13. “The rose is a rose, and was always a rose. But now the theory goes that the apple’s a rose, and the pear is, and so’s the plum, I suppose. The dear only knows what will next prove a rose. You, of course, are a rose but were always a rose.” – Robert Frost, The Rose Family

Hope and roses

  1. “This rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
  2. “Do thou smile like the rose at loss and gain; for the rose, though its petals be torn asunder, still smiles on, and it is never cast down.” – Rumi, The Masnavi
  3. “Just remember, during the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, that there’s a seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes a rose.” – Bette Midler, The Rose
  4. “The quiet, singing voice of the rose. The song that promised all might be well, all might be well, that all manner of things might be well.” – Stephen King, The Wolves of the Calla
  5. “A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.” – William Carlos Williams, The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams
a photo of rose quotes with a woman pruning roses

Stop and smell the roses

  1. “We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie
  2. “It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” – Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib
  3. “Come out here where the roses have opened. Let soul and world meet.” – Rumi
  4. “Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.” – Louisa May Alcott

A rose is a rose

  1. “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” – Gertrude Stein, Sacred Emily
  2. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  3. “What a lovely thing a rose is!” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Naval Treaty
  4. “There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.” – Henri Matisse
  5. “I feel as if I had opened a book and found roses of yesterday sweet and fragrant, between its leaves.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island
  6. “The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem / For that sweet odour which doth in it live.” – William Shakespeare, Sonnet 54
  7. “I’d love to have the whole place swimming in roses.” – James Joyce, Ulysses
  8. “I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” – Emma Goldman
  9. “If the rose puzzled its mind over the question how it grew, it would not have been the miracle that it is.” – J.B. Yeats
  10. “There is simply the rose; it is perfect every moment of its existence.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  11. “Wild roses,” I said to them one morning. “Do you have the answers? And if you do, would you tell me?” The roses laughed softly. “Forgive us,” they said. “But as you can see, we are just now entirely busy being roses.” – Mary Oliver, Felicity
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Beginning her writing career as a print journalist, Hanna Marcus worked as a beat reporter and general assignment reporter in newsrooms throughout Florida including The Tampa Bay Times, The Orlando Sentinel, The Naples Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun. Now a full-time freelance writer, she writes for clients such as Hot Topic, New Balance, BoxLunch, and others.

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