It Would Smell As Sweet

From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:

’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

This image was taken a few years ago. I had bought the rose for my girlfriend, and after a few days of sitting in a vase, the tightly wound petals had begun to open in a perfectly sensual pattern. I was struck by the painterly texture of it and immediately grabbed my camera. Using a soft, diffuse light from a strobe, I was able to capture its subtle contours and rich reds. Even now, I can almost smell the sweet scent of it. Many could describe it using different words or turns of phrase, yet like Shakespeare wrote so beautifully, what matters is what something is, not what it is called.