The One Page Poetry Circle will resume September 10 for a discussion of Poetry and Gardening.

The garden is a favorite literary and poetic theme that goes back to ancient times. In the Biblical narrative of Genesis, Adam and Eve are the original gardeners who cultivate in innocence until they fall from grace and Adam is sentenced to work by tGardening002he sweat of his brow. When actually working in our gardens, we are more likely to think of Candide at the end of Voltaire’s novel of that name, cultivating his garden, not as a punishment, but more as a way to live on earth. In this we see fall as a joyous time for the harvesting of food from gardens, a time of plenty before winter begins.

With the garden in mind, Robert Louis Stevenson created metaphoric flowers to be plucked from his “Child’s Garden of Verses.” In “Poetry” Marianne Moore described poems as “imaginary gardens with real toads in them,” while in “Talking Back to the Mad World,” Sarah C. Harwell refuses to garden but wishes to leave the tending to nature:

Talking Back to the Mad World

I will not tend. Or water,
pull, or yank,
I will not till, uproot,

fill up or spray.

The rain comes.
Or not. Plants: sun-fed,
moon-hopped, dirt-stuck.

Watch as flocks
of wild phlox

appear, disappear. My lazy,
garbagey magic
makes this nothing
happen.

I love
the tattered
camisole of
nothing. The world
runs its underbrush
course fed by
the nothing I give it.

Wars are fought.
Blood turns.
Dirt is a wide unruly room.

—Sarah C. Harwell

Make a comment about this poem or any other of your choice on the subject of Gardening. And if you can, please join Abigail Burnham Bloom and AnnaLee Wilson on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, at 444 Amsterdam Avenue, 3rd floor, for an hour of authentic conversation about poetry through the examination of works of established poets.

The One Page Poetry Circle is sponsored by the New York Public Library and is open to all. St. Agnes Branch Library is handicap accessible.


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