Her Garden

Her Garden
By Donald Hall

I let her garden go.

                let it go, let it go

How can I watch the hummingbird

Hover to sip

With its beak’s tip

The purple bee balm—whirring as we heard

It years ago?


The weeds rise rank and thick

                let it go, let it go

Where annuals grew and burdock grows,

Where standing she

At once could see

The peony, the lily, and the rose

Rise over brick


She’d laid in patterns. Moss

              let it go, let it go

Turns the bricks green, softening them

By the gray rocks

Where hollyhocks

That lofted while she lived, stem by tall stem,

Blossom with loss.

About the author

(Excerpted from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/donald-hall)

Donald Hall (1926 – 2018) was considered one of the major American poets of his generation. His poetry explores the longing for a more bucolic past and reflects the poet’s abiding reverence for nature. Although Hall gained early success with his first collection, Exiles and Marriages (1955), his later poetry is generally regarded as the best of his career. Often compared favorably with such writers as James Dickey, Robert Bly, and James Wright, Hall used simple, direct language to evoke surrealistic imagery. In addition to his poetry, Hall built a respected body of prose that includes essays, short fiction, plays, and children’s books. Hall, who lived on the New Hampshire farm he visited in summers as a boy, was also noted for the anthologies he has edited and is a popular teacher, speaker, and reader of his own poems.

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