Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SHELTERED GARDEN, by HILDA DOOLITTLE



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SHELTERED GARDEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I have had enough
Last Line: Wind-tortured place.
Alternate Author Name(s): H. D.; Aldington, Richard, Mrs.
Subject(s): Bible; Gardens & Gardening; Nature


I HAVE had enough.
I gasp for breath.
Every way ends, every road,
every foot-path leads at last
to the hill-crest --
then you retrace your steps,
or find the same slope on the other side,
precipitate.
I have had enough --
border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies,
herbs, sweet-cress.
O for some sharp swish of a branch --
there is no scent of resin
in this place,
no taste of bark, of coarse weeds,
aromatic, astringent --
only border on border of scented pinks.
Have you seen fruit under cover
that wanted light --
pears wadded in cloth,
protected from the frost,
melons, almost ripe,
smothered in straw?
Why not let the pears cling
to the empty branch?
All your coaxing will only make
a bitter fruit --
let them cling, ripen of themselves,
test their own worth,
nipped, shrivelled by the frost,
to fall at last but fair
With a russet coat.
Or the melon --
let it bleach yellow
in the winter light,
even tart to the taste --
it is better to taste of frost --
the exquisite frost --
than of wadding and of dead grass.
For this beauty,
beauty without strength,
chokes out life.
I want wind to break,
scatter these pink-stalks,
snap off their spiced heads,
fling them about with dead leaves --
spread the paths with twigs,
limbs broken off,
trail great pine branches,
hurled from some far wood
right across the melon-patch,
break pear and quince --
leave half-trees, torn, twisted
but showing the fight was valiant.
O to blot out this garden
to forget, to find a new beauty
in some terrible
wind-tortured place.





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