In Keats’ garden …

Outside the window

a gnarled mulberry tree, bowed with age,

spreads contorted branches

rich with ripe berries

of grape-like bloom ..

The guide said that ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ was composed in that room ..

I step into the garden as in a trance;

the metropolis has stilled like time;

nothing exists but this moment –

like a reprise;

juice oozed from the plucked fruit ..

I see your hand stained this vermilion red ..

I shudder.

Did you feel a foreshadowing then;

a tremor in your soul

of a symptom to dread?

About atomsofstars

Reticent .. but I hope my poetry speaks for me .. Favourite quotation .. ' Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.' Ludwig Wittgenstein
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5 Responses to In Keats’ garden …

  1. JM says:

    Hello Marya,
    They say that Keats thought poetically in a quite natural way, and so his poems have an easy charm to them. Who knows if he foresaw his terrible end? For they also say that we can quite unconsciously bring our hopes and fears to pass. One way or another, we advance towards our end of days in this world – chance? … or design? Whose design?
    If we see the world properly, and our place in it, there’s naught to fear. “All shall be well … and all manner of thing shall be well.” I fear not for Keats, nor for any of his ilk.

    But the nightingale. That, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees. How lovely the thoughts ; how Keats yearned for its company ; as an equal. I have a feeling that this wish was made for him, too. 🙂

  2. atomsofstars says:

    Hello Jamie 🙂

    Yes, I think Keats was intrinsically a poet …
    I think that in the last two years of his life he knew that he suffered from the same condition ‘consumption’ that had taken the life of his brother whom he had nursed in the final stages .. he had studied medicine and knew the symptoms only too well. But he could not have foreseen that he himself would die in exile in Rome nursed and comforted by the truly Christian, Joseph Severn … he might have recalled from Hamlet .. that ‘ there’s a divinity that shapes our ends’

    Ah, yes, the nightingale … ‘in some melodious plot of beechen green’ … describes that garden still. Most beautiful thoughts in which we, too, can dwell and then fly with him ‘on the viewless wings of Poesy’ … 🙂

  3. planaquarium says:

    I’ve always loved Keats garden-style and often chose his works for college assignments – this captures the atmosphere of his muse perfectly, and with homage to his love for nature!

  4. atomsofstars says:

    Hello planaquarium ….

    It’s nice to see you 🙂

    Yes, his poetry is captivating; that gorgeous imagery and sumptuous language, that intensity and insight .. wonderful.

    Thank you for your most kind words about these lines … I’m very happy to know that you enjoyed the visit to his garden …

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