Tuesday, 4 March 2008

A Nice Green Leaf: The Germination Game


It's just that moment in the year when I begin thinking about sowing seeds. Sorting through some old (70s) copies of Country Life at the weekend, I read a 1976 article by Christopher Lloyd, describing all the pleasures of watching things germinate "with science-fiction speed".

Then today I found this lovely poem by Robert Frost, which sums it up completely. (Though possibly rather rudely. Or am I imagining it?

Putting in the Seed

by Robert Frost

You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper's on the table, and we'll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea);
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,
Slave to a Springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

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