Poetry and Gardening

Musings from the days of a creative writer/gardener with a true appreciation for nature, meditation, and poetry.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The first one: Blake on Spring

This blog will be dedicated to my garden, as well as to poems about gardening (by both the classic poets, as well as by me).

I decided on the way to work this morning that the North Carolina early morning light really warms my trip. On the way to Roxboro, North Carolina from North Durham, I pass farms, tobacco fields, horse pastures, and rolling hills. Right now, azaleas are in bloom, and one particular house -- a small, vintage ranch home of no particular beauty -- boasted five large azalea bushes, each a different color, and each in full bloom: hot pink, orange, white, purple, and light pink. They looked spectacular from the road as I passed by, shining indiscretely, delicate yet robust, heavy with the early morning dew, and I thought how sad it was that they have little perfume for all their beauty.

I don't have any azaleas in the woody area behind my house. I keep reminding myself to plant some each year (I have lived in this home for four years), but the thought of digging around the numerous tree roots in the back yard deters me every time. If I could, I'd hire someone to plant at least twenty-four various colored azaleas under the pine and elm trees, but for now, I have to enjoy the azaleas I see along my twenty-plus mile ride to work every day.

Instead, I have Ladybanks Roses climbing over an archway at the bottom of the stairs leading to my deck. Their pale yellow mini roses are full and antique looking. They all appear to blossom simultaneously -- overnight, almost -- and hang like drunken Easter hats, spilling over the curves of the arch. They are early spring bloomers and often last a month or so, depending upon the weather. I was first introduced to this climber when we lived in Raleigh, and they grew up and over the gazebo on the second floor of my deck. I don't know how old they were, but I suspect they were almost nine years by the time we moved in. I went by that house the other day, and they were covering the deck like they did when we were there -- a completely sunshiny blanket of privacy that made that area of the deck perfect for a morning coffee and newspaper, even if still in my bathrobe.

For today, this poem is perfect:

"To Spring" by William Blake

O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down

Thro' the clear windows of the morning, turn

Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,

Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the listening

Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned

Up to they bright pavilions: issue forth,

And let the holy feet visit our clime.

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds

Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste

Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls

Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; our

Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put

Thy golden crown upon her languished head,

Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee.