Friday, September 14, 2012

Poetry Friday--"In an Abandoned Garden"

Wouldn't you love to have the day off today to ramble through a garden and then sit for a while to watch and listen as summer hurries toward its inevitable end? Or maybe, to simply sit and read a book? If you can't, let this poem stand in for you:
In an Abandoned Garden
by Han-Shan, translated by Burton Watson

My house is at the foot of the green cliff,
My garden, a jumble of weeds I no longer bother to mow.
New vines dangle in twisted strands
Over old rocks rising steep and high.
Monkeys make off with the mountain fruits,
The white heron crams his bill with fish from the pond,
While I, with a book or two of the immortals,
Read under the trees--mumble, mumble.
Ha! Wasn't the "mumble, mumble" a surprise!

There's a Round-Up being held at Random Noodling, hosted by yours truly. See you over there!

Arundel Castle (1905) picture courtesy Library of Congress. It's not a Chinese garden, and there are no monkeys, but I can well imagine a white heron, and a reader, can't you?



Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

I love the mumbles! What a grand poem of place! a.

Anonymous said...

It would definitely be lovely to have a break and just go through a garden. I need something like that right now. Sometimes i do wonder how poets come up with such details in describing nature. I usually just end up with "beautiful" and "awesome" to describe them.

Oh and i love how the words roll of the tongue. thanks for sharing this poem.

Jeane @ e Garden Sheds said...

A very awesome post indeed. I am very thankful for sharing such page. Great poem indeed. Thanks a lot!

Barbara said...

I am at this very moment sitting in an abandoned garden . . . my own, and reading e-mails and blogs instead of a good book. The neighbor's loose dog is my monkey, and dragonflies my heron. What could be better!

Joyce Ray said...

This poem speaks to me! My gardens are abandoned while I read and write, write and read. All I need are the monkey and heron. Yes, "mumble, mumble" surprised me.

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks for visiting everyone! I'm stopping by briefly since I have to keep an eye on the Poetry Friday Round-Up!

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

I love that mumble, mumbled! I could spend a day or two in that garden just watching the monkeys.

Diane Mayr said...

Ha, ha, Andi! We'll have to make do with squirrels in New Hampshire!

Katya said...

The "mumble, mumble" is awesome!

I have to confess that I have sat on our patio with my back to the jungle that overtook the garden beds I cleared earlier this summer, reading.

Mary Lee said...

I'm so perpetually tired these days that if I sat down under a tree and relaxed with a book, I would definitely be "mumble mumble" followed by "ZZZZZzzzzz"!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

A surprise ending...but how entirely fitting. Like Mary Lee, I am so tired at the end of this first week of school, that an abandoned garden with peace and quiet to read sounds delightful.

Ruth said...

I was going to say exactly what Mary Lee said -- he was mumble mumbling because he fell asleep!

Doraine Bennett said...

I have been reading the Secret Garden to my mom over the last month or two. So my mind immediately went there when I saw the title. When I got to "mumble, mumble" I laughed. Sometimes that's Mother's response, too.

Diane Mayr said...

This certainly appears to be a poem with lot of appeal--and for a lot of reasons! I love hearing everyone's reactions.