Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Poetry & the Garden

A while back, Chris asked me if I knew of any good collections of garden poetry. Although I know I've read a lot poetry on the subject over the years, I can recall very little of it on command.  I have tried to include a poem about the garden, or a related topic, with each of my Saturday Farmer's Market posts, but I really know of no actual collections.

But . . .  Wouldn't that make a great anthology?!?

'Garden Poetry' . . . 'Poetry on Gardens' . . . 'A Garden of Poetry' . . . 'Poetry & the Garden' . . .

What would the sections be? Besides poetry about gardens we could include poetry about flowers, mountains, nature, ... even weeds.

The garden in many of these poems is a metaphor, but as I stand in my own garden, I understand that metaphor is often just another word for life. (Be careful what you munch on while in the garden!)

Of course, when thinking about nature, the first name that comes to my mind is Henry David Thoreau and Walden.

Then of course, there's Walt Whitman, and Leaves of Grass. * This Compost! *

And Ralph Waldo Emerson. * My Garden *

Emily Dickinson came from a family of gardeners and tended plants throughout her life. It shows. * My Garden * Come Slowly Eden * With a Flower * A Dew Sufficed Itself * A Service of Song * May Flower * Psalm of the Day * Summer Shower * Summer’s Armies * The Bee * The Bee is not afraid * The Grass * The Purple Clover * The Sea of Sunset * To Buy A Flower * Why *  

William Wordsworth was an avid gardener and his family home, Rydal Mount, contained many acres of gardens that he designed. * Lines written above Tintern Abbey *
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

The Sissinghurst Castle garden was created in the 1930s by writer Vita Sackville-West. One of the most famous national gardens in England, Sissinghurst is divided by high hedges into “rooms,” each with its own distinctive color and theme. * Bee-Masters * Making Cider *

I found a few more Garden Poems: 

* The Glory of the Garden - Rudyard Kipling * Fireflies in the Garden - Robert Frost * The Garden of Love - William Blake * The Lily - William Blake * The Sun - Mary Oliver * To Nature - Samuel Taylor Coleridge * This Lime Tree Bower My Prison - Samuel Taylor Coleridge * The Sea at Night - Sri Aurobindo * Stray Birds - Tagore * The First Jasmines - Tagore * Ode To a Nightingale - J.Keats * The Song of the Flower - K.Gibran * The Gardener’s Speech from Richard II - William Shakespeare * The Mower, Against Gardens - Andrew Marvell * The Garden - Andrew Marvell * The Deserted Garden - Elizabeth Barrett Browning * Belovèd, thou hast brought me many flowers - Elizabeth Barrett Browning * Lines Written in Kensington Gardens - Matthew Arnold * Behind a Wall - Amy Lowell * Blight - Edna St. Vincent Millay * This is the garden: colors come and go - e.e. cummings * A Girl’s Garden - Robert Frost * Written at a Farm - John Codrington Bampfylde * My Garden - Thomas Edward Brown * Wistaria - Witter Bynner * The Gardener - Robert Louis Stevenson * The Garden - Thomas Campion * A Garden Song - Austin Dobson * Down in the Garden Close - William Byron Forbush * Behind a Wall - Amy Lowell * The Little Garden - Amy Lowell * The Fruit Garden Path - Amy Lowell * A Garden by the Sea - William Morris * Eutopia - Francis Turner Palgrave * The Garden - James Shirley * Inscription for a Grotto - Mark Akenside * The Arbour - Anne Bronte * this is the garden:colours come and go - E.E. Cummings * They'll spend the summer - Joshua Beckman * Digging Potatoes, Sebago, Maine - Amy King * October - Louise Glück * Angel of Duluth - Madelon Sprengnether * Done With - Ann Stanford * The Public Garden - Robert Lowell * My Mother on an Evening in Late Summer - Mark Strand * Telling the Bees - Deborah Digges * Lucinda Matlock - Edgar Lee Masters * They'll spend the summer - Joshua Beckman * Mother - Herman de Coninck * Vacant Lot with Pokeweed - Amy Clampitt * They that have power to hurt and will do none (Sonnet 94) - William Shakespeare * Tomorrow - David Budbill * A Red Palm - Gary Soto *   
Here's an interesting site -
 GARDEN STEW: Nature and Gardening Poetry


How's this Chris? Does it help at all?


  1. Oh wow!!!!! I am SO glad that you told me about this post!!! Like I said, I've been completely neglectful of blog reading lately :( It's nothing personal at all, it's my own combination of summer related depression and horrible work. But I'm trying to turn that around now! And posts like this certainly help :) I've read Walden and Leaves of Grass and many of those Dickinson poems, but so many that I HAVEN'T read! I'm bookmarking this post for when I need a gardening poetry pick me up :) What I THOUGHT you were going to say at the end of this post was "and since I can't find a gardening related poetry anthology, I'm going to create one myself!" Because you know....you'd make some money off of that AND it would be a thing of beauty ;) Thanks as always my dear!

    1. Thank you for inspiring me. And I would love to put together an anthology of garden poetry. It's on the list now!