Thursday, May 31, 2007

Poetry Thursday: A Little Tennyson

I did not find any time to write a poem this week, though I loved the "totally optional writing prompt" suggested by Poetry Thursday for the week. The prompt was simply the word "rivers." Maybe over the weekend, I will find a few moments to scribble some lines about rivers. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this tiny snippet, just the first stanza really, of a long lovely poem by Tennyson called "Maud." And above, there is a photo of my Maude, joining me in the garden (well, actually leaving me cheerfully behind as she races to the pond.)

"COME into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown."

~ Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809 – 1892

The scents that "waft abroad" in my own garden right now are those of lilac, and iris, and the thorny, invasive Russian and Autumn Olives that abound on this property. These non-native species thrive here, except where we have pulled them up by the root. Despite all those negative attributes, the tiny white and yellow blooms are delicate and pretty, and the scent, strong and sweet, is a fragrant invitation to linger outdoors.

photo 1 by Aisling, May 29, 2007 , Maude in the field
photo 2 by Haiku, May 30, 2007, Heuchera (coral bells) dripping over the garden trail
poem from A Selection of Poetry in the public domain


Lizzie said...

Your stone path is just lovely- an ideal spot for daydreaming!

I need prompts to write poetry- I can be inspired, but am seldom apt to write rhyme or limerick. And when I do, I am shy about sharing. Me shy? Hmmmm...

Aisling said...

Lizzie, Thank you! I certainly have done some daydreaming (mostly about what to do next in improving or expanding the garden! lol!)

I think you would be very good at expressing your thoughts in poetry. I am more of a "free verse" girl, which I suppose is just glorified prose. I like to read rhyming when well done, but my own poetry generally ends up as free verse.

Rapunzel said...

Beautiful pictures, and poem! Do we know who Tennyson's Maud was?

Aisling said...

Rapunzel, I don't know who Tennyson's Maud was. I'll have to research that sometime. She could very well be a fictional character. He wrote about the King Arthurt legend and other such subjects, so Maud may be borrowed from some other older story. I really don't know. Good question!

Aisling said...

Rapunzel, In this poem the male narrator struggles with madness, which contrasts against his love for Maud. I think she is in part just an idealized young woman of her time, and partly based on a woman whom Tennyson courted unsuccessfully before his marriage to another lady. The woman, who presumably inspired Maud, was Rosa Baring who lived at Harrington Hall, whereat there were lovely gardens. Harrington Hall, at any rate, makes the claim that these gardens inspired Tennyson's "Come Into the Garden, Maud." I'm sure there is much more to the story ;)