Saturday, April 6, 2013

Poem #5: The Garden

The Garden
Shel Silverstein

Ol' man Simon, planted a diamond
Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.
Sprouts all growin', comin' up glowin',
Fruit of jewels all shinin' in the sun.
Colors of the rainbow,
See the sun and rain grow
Sapphires and rubies on ivory vines.
Grapes of jade, just
Ripenin' in the shade, just
Ready for the squeezin' into green jade wine.
Pure gold corn there,
Blowin' in the warm air,
Ol' crow nibblin' on the amnythyst seeds.
In between the diamonds, ol' man Simon
Crawls about pullin' out platinum weeds.
Pink pearl berries,
All you can carry,
Put 'em in a bushel and
Haul 'em into town.
Up in the tree there's
Opal nuts, and gold pears--
Hurry quick, grab a stick
And shake some down.
Take a silver tater,
Emerald tomater,
Fresh plump coral melons
Hangin' in reach.
Ol' man Simon,
Diggin' in his diamonds,
Stops and rests and dreams about

Oh, the poignant irony of the contrast between the laboring Simon, crawlin' about, pullin' weeds, diggin' in the dirt--and the marvelous, miraculous fruits of his labor. Oh, the pathos of that last line. That one...real...peach. Plain, simple, lovely, with that internal rhyme and the soft sounds, "r" and "l", "p" and "ch", nothing remarkable about it but its reality and its impossibility, at least in that dream garden. Oh, the longing in those ellipses. And so much more. Who ever said Shel Silverstein poems were for children?

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