A Simple Poem by Emily Dickinson

Essential Oils — are wrung

emily_dickenson colorful.jpg

Essential Oils — are wrung –

The Attar from the Rose

Be not expressed by Suns — alone –

It is the gift of Screws –

The general Rose — decay –

But this — in Lady ‘s Drawer

Make Summer — When the Lady lie

In Ceaseless Rosemary –


This poem represents Nature, Culture and Language.

Reading : Kramsch, C.J (1998) Language and Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press


Here are some analysis of this poem by  the FRG groups :

Group 1 (Ayu, Resti & Richard)

In the poem of Emily Dickinson about Roses, the use of “General Rose” which represents Nature, “The Lady” as Language, and “The Attar” or fragrance of the Roses as Culture. This poem put language and culture to weird relationship where they can both influence each other in so many ways. Naturally, rose is just one of beautiful flowers which can be wilted anytime. Unfortunately, the natural characteristic of a flower makes it only beautiful when we see it directly. On the flip side, culture and language can do things nature cannot. Time has no effect on both culture and language. Culture brings Rose to so many ears through language. It makes people imagine how beautiful Rose is. Every time someone mention Rose, the definition of Rose develop in society will lead them to define it by the culture they kept and language they heard. Roses may be only a kind of flower but culturally, Rose is a sign of true love and sometimes can also be a sign of a Lady. The Lady and the Rose is not immortal, the Lady can die and the Rose can “decay”, but the Rose can be immortal when the perfume maker change the rose petal into high cost perfume. From the perfume, the Lady can use it, and the fragrance of the rose made her

immortal. We can conclude that, “Culture is never died, when Language make it immortals”. We can know about the culture of one community because of language. There is the “screw” as socialization or acculturation to be a “gift” of the culture to know about the community. Language and culture need each other by supporting each of their existences in society.

 Facilitator’s comment: Language can make culture immortal, a very brilliant opinion to see that how language is very powerful to shape community by preserving its culture.

Group 2 (Mima & Noora)

This poem is quite difficult to be understood without the explanation but after read the explanation, we can get that the rose is the symbol for nature, the lady for culture and the Attar is the language. Simply, this poem implied that nature, culture and language need each other and to maintain the nature and the culture, language is needed. Just like the metaphor, when the lady dies,

the fragrance will make the people remind her as the culture could die but the language will bring it alive but the fragrance will not exist if there is no rose.

Facilitator’s comment: I agree this poem is a bit challenging to comprehend, yet you have a good start by giving comments. It’s not just simply understanding that lady is for culture and the attar as language. consider how attar has gone through the process of extracting. is this process can be defined as culture? and how language is responsible to execute this process? Have some thoughts!

Group 3 (Christ, Dilla & Dewi)

About the metaphor of the rose regarding to culture and language is as we mentioned earlier that they need each other to exist. The rose in the metaphor was born by nature, and preserved by culture or the habit of giving roses to people they love, but without language that utters the meaning behind it, the rose itself will never have a meaning. So in simple way, we can conclude that the rose as the nature is just like as human. Human can pass away but the culture will live from one generation to another through language just like the essence of rose that live even after the rose no longer exist.

Facilitator’s comment: Yes, language is needed to communicate the meaning within the culture, otherwise the rose is meaningless. Good highlight!

Group 4 (Eugenie & Bella)

It is a little bit confused try to understand the meaning of Dickinson’s poem. But one thing that interested is how we can reflect the poem to conclude about culture and language itself. From the poem by Emily Dickinson about the metaphor of roses I found that that between Culture and Language is related each other, both of them cannot be separated. Why it cannot be separated? Quoting a lyric from the poem “The Attar from the Rose” it is a metaphor Language and Culture which is Attar is analogy as Language and Rose is analogy as the culture. As we know that Attar is an essential oil which drips from Rose, in this case it is same with Language which can present and exit until now because of culture.

Culture has been grown because the habit of human and the language is presence among them because people need to communicate so they can interact. Language also can be a sign of people in one culture. For example, we can notice the differences of the speakers through the way they speak using their language. The differences can we feel through the differences of the tone, accent, vocal, event how they express from their conversational style. Where there is a culture, there is a language. Surely, it cannot be avoided both of them is related and cannot be separated.

Facilitator’s comment:  This poem is not easy to understand, agree! Now think about how rose can decay,  whose characteristic of this ? Nature, culture or language? then when Roses can become essence, it will get through labor and finally can be immortal, what kind of process is this? natural or cultural process? try to consider it!



Reflective Writing


Reflective writing is:

  • your response to experiences, opinions, events or new information
  • your response to thoughts and feelings
  • a way of thinking to explore your learning
  • an opportunity to gain self-knowledge
  • a way to achieve clarity and better understanding of what you are learning
  • a chance to develop and reinforce writing skills
  • a way of making meaning out of what you study

Reflective writing is not:

  • just conveying information, instruction or argument
  • pure description, though there may be descriptive elements
  • straightforward decision or judgement (e.g. about whether something is right or wrong, good or bad)
  • simple problem-solving
  • a summary of course notes
  • a standard university essay


To make connections

The idea behind reflective writing is that what you learn at university builds on your prior knowledge, whether it is formal (e.g. education) orinformal (e.g. gained through experience).

Reflective writing helps you develop and clarify the connections:

  • between what you already know and what you are learning
  • between theory and practice
  • between what you are doing and how and why you do it.

To examine your learning processes

Reflective writing encourages you to consider and comment on your learning experiences—not only WHAT you’ve learned, but HOW you learned it.

To clarify what you are learning

Reflecting helps you to:

  • clarify what you have studied
  • integrate new knowledge with previous knowledge
  • identify the questions you have
  • identify what you have yet to learn.

To reflect on mistakes and successes

Reflecting on mistakes can help you avoid repeating them. At the same time, reflecting on your discoveries helps identify successful principles to use again.

To become an active and aware learner

To become a reflective practitioner once you graduate and begin your professional life


What can I discuss?

  • Your perceptions of the course and the content.
  • Experiences, ideas and observations you have had, and how they relate to the course or topic.
  • What you found confusing, inspiring, difficult, interesting and why.
  • Questions you have
  • How you:
    • solved a problem;
    • reached a conclusion;
    • found an answer;
    • reached a point of understanding.
  • Possibilities, speculations, hypotheses or solutions.
  • Alternative interpretations or different perspectives on what you have read or done in your course.
  • Comparisons and connections between what your are learning and:
    • your prior knowledge and experience;
    • your prior assumptions and preconceptions;
    • what you know from other courses or disciplines.
  • How new ideas challenge what you already know.
  • What you need to explore next in terms of thoughts and actions.


Journal: requires you to write weekly entries throughout a semester. May require you to base your reflection on course content.

Learning diary: similar to a journal, but may require group participation. The diary then becomes a place for you to communicate in writing with other group members.

Log book: often used in disciplines based on experimental work, such as science. You note down or ‘log’ what you have done. A log gives you an accurate record of a process and helps you reflect on past actions and make better decisions for future actions.

Reflective note: often used in law. A reflective note encourages you to think about your personal reaction to a legal issue raised in a course.

Essay diary: can take the form of an annotated bibliography (where you examine sources of evidence you might include in your essay) and a critique (where you reflect on your own writing and research processes).

Peer review: usually involves students showing their work to their peers for feedback.

Self-assessment: requires you to to comment on your own work.


Clarify your task

Clarify the practical aspects

Find out what form your task should take. You may need to submit a book or folder or complete an online component. In addition to writing, you may be able to include pictures, diagrams, media clippings etc.

Gather your ideas

Before you write, you need to think and reflect. Start by drawing up a Mindmap. 

Mindmapping is a technique that can help you expand your thinking, structure your ideas and make connections. You can use a Mindmap to plan your assignment and arrange items to create the structure of your writing.

  1. Write your topic in the centre of a blank page.
  2. Draw related ideas on ‘branches’ that radiate from the central topic. When you get a new idea, start a new branch from the centre. Include any ideas, topics, authors, theories, experiences associated with your topic.
  3. Map quickly, without pausing, to maintain a flow of ideas. Associate freely and do not self-edit; at this stage anything and everything is OK.
  4. Circle the key points or ideas. Look at each item and consider how it relates to others, and to the topic as a whole.
  5. Map the relationships between the ideas or key points using lines, arrows, colours. Use words or phrases to link them.

See for complete readings :