Gardening has inspired a wide range of people to write gorgeous poetry. There’s just something about this art that attracts the mind and brings words to the lips of our wittiest bards. A lot of it has to do with the “growing” nature of gardening and how you must “nurture” a garden for it to succeed. That creates a wide range of possible metaphors, which I think are explored perfectly in Robert Seymour Bridges’s poem “The Growth of Love.”
This is a fairly long poem, so I’m only going to share one stanza with you:
Beneath the crisp and wintry carpet hid
A million buds but stay their blossoming;
And trustful birds have built their nests amid
The shuddering boughs, and only wait to sing
Till one soft shower from the south shall bid,
And hither tempt the pilgrim steps of spring.
What do I like about this poem and this stanza in particular? I love the way it starts: with the buds of the flowers hiding below the “carpet” of winter. Here, they wait to blossom, excited to finally break out and join the world. Above them, birds are buildings nests and trees are growing, but the flowers hide beneath the surface of the world, waiting to live.
Beyond the major themes of the poem, I love this sense of anticipation. As a gardener, you know how exciting it is to sit and wait for your buds to finally blossom and to experience the joy of tending to your plants and flowers.
However, the best part is when “one soft shower from the south” breaks through the soil and gives the buds the strength they need to grow. This poem says so much about life in general, and gardening specifically, they I can’t help but read it over and over again. What do you think about it?