The greens of Spring as it gallops toward Summer, when gardens are gorgeous with swelling promise —
You can wrestle your own way through these lines in Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell’s long poem, The Garden, or you can Google for an interpretation. Or just tune the lines out altogether. (After all, the 17th century English Metaphysicals were among the most intellectual and thorniest poets in history. But when they got it right, wow! they really got it.) It’s worth the effort just to get to the last couplet of the stanza, which to me is the perfect descriptor of what “GARDEN” can mean, a kind of green heaven here on earth:
Meanwhile the Mind, from Pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness:
The Mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other Worlds, and other Seas,
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green Thought in a green Shade.
beautiful image. I find if you read that poem aloud, it takes on a life of its own.
Right on the mark, Joss. It really must be read aloud.
Basically I feel that all poetry needs to be read aloud — even though I’m usually lazy and read it only with my eyes, thereby missing rhythm and meter and even the significant sounds of the words —
I’m planning to read poetry aloud somewhere in the alps. Just because.
Now that was a lovely way to start the day! I found the entire poem online and – as Joss noted – read it out loud. Thank you for sharing!
I’m happy you enjoyed it.
Once Jane Austen wrote about Emma, “I have created a heroine whom no one but myself will like.”
On a lesser plane, that’s how I felt about this post — a long and difficult poem, even one stanza of it requires thought and effort.
OTOH, that “green thought in a green shade” comes to my mind often and often when I am outdoors in the summer — and I love those two lines.