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Saturday, July 18, 2015

That search for order

“For me, poetry is always a search for order.'' – Elizabeth Jennings

British poet Elizabeth Jennings, born this date, won many awards for her “orderly” poetry, which as it often turns out were anything but.  She won acclaim and awards for her lyric style including the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award for her second book of poetry A Way of Looking, and the W.H. Smith Literary Award for her 1987 Collected Works, which includes one of her most famous short poems, “In A Garden.”  (below) 

For an enjoyable and thoughtful afternoon or evening of poetic reading pick up one of these two books.  They will transport you to whatever place about which she is writing.

Elizabeth Jennings

In A Garden

When the gardener has gone this garden
Looks wistful and seems waiting an event.

It is so spruce, a metaphor of Eden
And even more so since the gardener went,
Quietly godlike, but of course, he had
Not made me promise anything and I
Had no one tempting me to make the bad
  Yet I still felt lost and wonder why?

Even the beech tree from next door which shares
Its shadow with me, seemed a kind of threat.

Everything was too neat, and someone cares 

In the wrong way.
  I need not have stood long
Mocked by the smell of a mown lawn, and yet
I did.
  Sickness for Eden was so strong.

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