Friday, April 25, 2008

Au Ras Des Pâquerettes

La pâquerette, or English daisy (bellis perennis), is common throughout Europe and certainly around where we live. This time of year, when the grass isn't getting cut as often as you'd like, they form a white carpet along roads and in yards and fields.

Les pâquerettes bloom along our little road.

Of course, even when you do cut the grass, you only slice off about a third of the flower heads, and the plants themselves are unaffected, so they continue to put up flowers. But only the most suburbanized chemical lawn junkie could have a problem with that.

A close-up of les pâquerettes.

French singer Alain Souchon recorded a song in 1999 called "Au ras des pâquerettes" which means "at the level of daisies." The song says that hearts without love stay close to the ground, where the daisies grow, as opposed to love-filled hearts which soar.

Our neighbor's yard, covered in white daisies.


  1. Hmm, not sure AS had quite got the hang of the simile thing. What is wrong with being down with the daisies?

  2. I don't think Alain Souchon was trying to invent a new simile or metaphor. Au ras des pâquerettes is a set expression in French. Here's part of what the Robert-Collins dictionary gives for the word ras:

    la discussion est au ras des pâquerettes: the discussion is pretty lowbrow

    soyons pragmatiques, restons au ras des pâquerettes: let's be pragmatic and keep our feet on the ground

    The idea has not much to do with pâquerettes and what nice flowers they are. It's about flying high vs. staying down to earth.

  3. I soar with daisies. They're the flowers that I received from mon ami de coeur when I was twelve. First bouquet, first love...A precious moment.

    Thank you, wcs, for reviving the memory.

  4. susan, I guess it all depends on why one is down there!

    claudia, awww, that's sweet!

  5. Ken - aha, so it is an established metaphor - another one for the notebook, thanks :-)


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