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Nature is a common subject of poetry, and poets are almost universally fond of their gardens. I assume this is partly because a garden is a pleasant place to sit and write, and also because a garden, by its very nature, surrounds you with a near infinite cloud of metaphors about life, mortality, creation, (procreation), and battles against rivals, the elements, and against time itself. Hence Jon comments that many of the poems in our title index named "The Garden" are really not about gardens at all.
Deep concepts aside, the garden provides a wealth of subject for description - colors, scents, seasons, and many, many names for poets to use to weave more meaning into their work. Allusions are easy to construct and to understand. And then there are those of us who have (or used to have) gardens. In modern times we call this a "built-in fan base".
It is also worthwhile to note, that for those living in more northerly latitudes, the time available to spend in a garden in full bloom is very short indeed, especially when we consider the amount of time most people of past centuries spent on taking care of the necessities of life. My wife and I once took a small tour boat up the Thames from London to Hampton Court on a warm sunny Saturday in June, and were amazed by the number of people out and about on the river messing about in boats. But we realized, after a little reflection, what a rare day that was for the people who lived there. (Living in Florida, we tend to take sunny days for granted).
You may also enjoy the poems about Flowers and Nature.
- Lines Written in Kensington Gardens by Matthew Arnold
There is no city park anywhere that is a better get-away than Kensington.
- Written at a Farm by John Codrington Bampfylde
Here in this safe retreat and peaceful glen
I pass my sober moments, far from men;
- My Garden by Thomas Edward Brown
Proof of divinity in eight very brief lines.
- Wistaria by Witter Bynner
As if, from willows or from pepper trees,
Shadows were glimmering on Buddha's knees.
- The Gardener by Robert Louis Stevenson
From 'A Child's Garden of Verses', of course.
- The Garden by Thomas Campion
There is a garden in her face
- A Garden Song by Austin Dobson
The Pierides were nine sisters, daughters of a Macedonian King, whose skills at the arts rivaled the Muses.
- Down in the Garden Close by William Byron Forbush
An elegy, I think:
And the queen lies low in a soft, still sleep,
Safe from the wintry snows,
- The Glory of the Garden by Rudyard Kipling
A call to arms, of sorts:
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:--"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
- Behind a Wall by Amy Lowell
Full of alliterations and unexpected word choices.
Flaming with lilies out of whose cups dart
With powdered wings.
- The Little Garden by Amy Lowell
A labor of love "on a bleak hillside"
- The Fruit Garden Path by Amy Lowell
The moments of my life, its hopes and fears
Have all found utterance here
- A Garden by the Sea by William Morris
A garden, an ocean, a story, and all the metaphors of loss and hereafter.
- Eutopia by Francis Turner Palgrave
Short and wistful, on what we understood when we were young, but lost as we grew old.
- The Garden by James Shirley
A man's garden is his castle perhaps?
- Inscription for a Grotto by Mark Akenside
Enter in, O stranger, undismay'd.
- The Arbour by Anne Bronte
And while my ear drinks in the sound,
My winged soul shall fly away;
- Belovèd, thou hast brought me many flowers by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The concluding sonnet in her "Portuguese" cycle.
- This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Left to ourselves, in this situation, most of us would have taken a nap. Coleridge wrote this, and that "No sound is dissonant which tells of Life. "
- this is the garden:colours come and go, by e.e. cummings
As with any cummings poem, you may enjoy it at once, but must re-read it aloud to truly appreciate how he plays with sound
- Orchard by H.D.
Doolittle at her best is like cummings in structure and brevity and much like Aiken in how she patterns her thoughts. This is a good example.
- In the Garden by Edward Dowden
A sequence of eight sonnets
- My Garden by Ralph Waldo Emerson
A little trite at the start, it improves as it goes on. Almost an ubi sunt (where are they?) form that answers itself - perhaps the trees remember.
- Inscription in a Garden by George Gascoigne
Logic his wife taught him.
- The Garden by Nicholas Grimald
An accounting of the benefits of a garden.
- When Tulips Bloom by Henry Van Dyke
He may talk of flowers and birds - but all he really wants to do is fish.