Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today's poem by Mary Ursula Bethell

Time

‘Established’ is a good word, much used in garden books,
‘The plant, when established’ . . .
Oh, become established quickly, quickly, garden
For I am fugitive, I am very fugitive – – –

Those that come after me will gather these roses,
And watch, as I do now, the white wistaria
Burst, in the sunshine, from its pale green sheath.

Planned. Planted. Established. Then neglected,
Till at last the loiterer by the gate will wonder
At the old, old cottage, the old wooden cottage,
And say ‘One might build here, the view is glorious;
This must have been a pretty garden once.’

Mary Ursula Bethell (1874-1945)
From a Garden in the Antipodes, 1929



20 comments:

  1. Lovely and a poet I do not know at all. Once again you open my eyes!

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    1. I first saw this poem on a Canadian blogger's homepage

      http://gardenonthehillside.blogspot.com/

      and I was so taken with it. There is more about Mary Ursula Bethell here

      http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/4b29/1

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  2. Wonderful poem, Nan. I'd never heard of the poet, either. I must say your gorgeous new header photo just sets the tone beautifully. Spectacular.

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    1. I hadn't until seeing this poem on the sidebar of the blog I mentioned to Elizabeth. It makes me wonder how very many poets and writers there are that are almost unknown. I'm always so happy to discover someone new-to-me.
      Thanks- I do love aquilegias.

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  3. Love seeing your header picture with the spider web knitting your garden together. Love this poem too. Having one of those coveted gardens is one of the reasons why gardeners garden I think. We want to draw people in to the garden.

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    1. I love how you put that about the web. Beautiful.
      I've often read of gardens, neglected after the gardener's death that are discovered and loved again.

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  4. Thank you, I like that poem and had never heard of the author.

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    1. As I wrote to Yvette, I wonder how many like Bethell are out there waiting for readers to find them; much as old gardens are waiting for new gardeners to discover them.

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  5. Beautiful! ... both poem and flower!

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    1. Wasn't it nice of my William Baffin rose to be blooming just when I put the poem on the blog. :<)

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  6. This poem really speaks to me, Nan and what a lovely rose. The roses have been spectacular here this year. My walkabouts have me dawdling, soaking it all in. I see you have a few links above and will check them out.

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    1. I've been looking around for her poetry and the books seem to be rare, judging from the high prices. She is in some collections that are much cheaper so I may have to settle for that.
      The rose smells even better than it looks - a William Baffin that grows in zone 3!

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  7. Thanks for the lovely poem and beautiful flower. Have a glorious summer
    of reading and gardening.

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  8. Nan, what a beautiful poem and that rose is just gorgeous!! Enjoy!

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  9. Beautiful poem. I love its reflections on the impermanence of things, but also in the tendency for events to repeat, with that hint of maybe someone at the end taking up the project of rebuilding that old cottage and replanting the garden.

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    1. I was very taken with her words, and want to read more.

      A rather famous garden is one of those that was brought back:
      http://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/margery_fish.htm

      I ache thinking of these old houses, and the women who lived in them, taking care of the flowers in between the hard work they had to do. The flowers must have offered great escape and peace for them.

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  10. What a gorgeous rose! And a lovely poem. Thanks for the introduction to Mary Ursula Bethell.

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    1. I found her words so touching. I'm sure if you drive out of town, you must have seen such houses and gardens that have just been left, waiting for someone to become enchanted by them again.
      The William Baffin rose is my pride and joy. A rose that grows in zone 3! Wonderful smell too.

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