Favorite Garden Poems, those verses we sometimes were required to memorize and recite at school. Or we stumbled upon them at one time or another, and they made an impression. On cold winter days I sometimes find these lines running through my mind. I guess it’s just wishful thinking on my part. Do you recognize any of them?
First up is my all-time favorite. Like all good poems, it conjures up powerful images, and captures Wordsworth’s mood as his mind wanders to sunny days.
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.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Next up is one of those poems I remember having to memorize. We stood in front of the class in 7th grade and recited it, one by one. Some of us stumbled here and there, but it only seemed to reinforced the lines in my memory. My lips would silently move with each student as he or she valiantly struggled to recall it perfectly.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
This is the garden: colors come and go
This is the garden: colors come and go,Frail azures fluttering from night’s outer wing,
Absolute lights like baths of golden snow.
This is the garden: pursed lips do blow
Upon cool flutes within wide glooms, and sing
Of harps celestial to the quivering string,
Invisible faces hauntingly and slow.
And on Death’s blade lie many a flower curled,
In other lands where other songs be sung;
Yet stand They here enraptured, as among
The slow deep trees perpetual of sleep
Some silver-fingered fountain steals the world.
–e. e. cummings
What poems about plants or gardens do you remember most?
© Wade Kingston