Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

A Rose from Homer’s Grave

A Rose from Homer's GraveA Rose from Homer’s Grave

Once upon a time, near Smyrna, there was a rose and it bloomed more beautifully than any other rose. This rose grew from the grave of Homer. A nightingale, which has a beautiful song above all else, stopped to sing to the rose. The rose thought itself too high and mighty to respond to the nightingale’s lowly song because it grew from the grave of Homer, a great singer who sung songs of the past. The nightingale sang itself to death.

The son of a camel driver found the dead bird and buried it in the same ground the rose grew out of. The rose had a dream that night. The rose dreamed that a crowd of strangers had surrounded it. A minstrel who had traveled far, plucked the rose and said, “Here is a rose from the grave of Homer.” The flower woke from this nightmare.

The day wore on and a poet from the north came to Homer’s grave. he plucked the rose and carried it away. He put it between the pages of a book that held Homer’s own writings. The poet would say, “Here is a rose from the grave of Homer,” whenever he saw it.

The End


Let’s talk about Homer for a moment. He wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey. He was known as a poet, a great poet. People admired him from far and wide; they still do. This story states that it takes place near Smyrna. That’s all good and well, but Homer’s grave was not in Smyrna. Smyrna is attributed as Homer’s birthplace, but not his grave. Homer’s grave is said to be on the island of Ios. No one can really prove for sure that his grave is there, but there is pretty strong evidence that his grave is there.

The grave is a tourist attraction. People do go and see it. That part of this story is accurate.


This rose thought itself higher than everyone else. It thought it could ignore the attention of others because it was so special. That’s called being stuck up. In the end though, something bigger and better than the rose came along. A human with fingers came along and picked the rose. That’s too bad I guess.

This may have all been coincidence, but it does sound as if the rose was getting paid back for being so stuck up. A bird died because this rose thought so much of itself. I admit, this bird probably should have found another flower to sing to, but still, it’s not such a great thing that the bird died.

The rose thought it was so great because it grew from the grave of Homer. Your lineage doesn’t necessarily make you an awesome person. You have to have some merit of your own. You just can’t say, “I’m related to this famous person,” and expect the world to fall on its knees. So what if you are related to someone famous? You still have to be a decent human being and you’re not more special than anyone else just because you have some connection to someone famous.

Don’t get on your high-horse because your great-great-great-great-grandfather was so-and-so.


At least this rose was immortalized in a poet’s book.

Weigh In

If roses were sentient, do you think they would be prideful flowers?

Do you think the idea of being related to someone of notoriety making you better than other people has any merit or worth?


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