Because it is now October and harvest time, I thought it would be fun to recall what our gardens looked like way back in June, when the abundance was just beginning.
Through verse, of course. Specifically, the verse of Pat Long from West Manchester Township, who is 71 years of age, a lifelong gardener, and a lover of poetry. Here is Pat’s poem:
Our Garden, June 2012
Strawberries, raspberries, cherries galore; I’m stuffing the freezer, they’re bulging the door.
Spinach and lettuce–we can’t eat fast enough. How many salads a day can we stuff?
My back aches from washing fruit at the sink. I’ll be glad for the bounty this winter, I think.
I must hurry…blueberries and peas are near ready. Gardens are just so reliably steady.
Behind me the squash and cucumbers aren’t slowing; tomato plants look like a jungle is growing.
Cherry desserts are such a delight. We enjoy cherry cobbler for dinner each night.
Then early next morning it’s back up the ladder; soon the kitchen is covered with cherry juice splatter.
I can’t help but notice by a strange twist of fate…all this healthy eating and I still don’t lose weight.
There’s enough Swiss Chard to feed a small nation. I’m off to Wisconsin. I need a vacation!
Did that poem make anyone else hungry?
One thing I noticed while reading is the attention to meter and rhythm. It’s a triple beat rhythm, with every third syllable stressed, and four stresses per sentence or clause (the full line is two of those sentences or clauses, with what’s called a caesura in the middle, an obvious pause or break without actually breaking the line). The technical term for this rhythm is dactylic (dactyl means three) tetrameter (tetra means four). And this author has a very good ear for it.
See if you can hear the stresses by “seeing” them:
STRAW-berr-ies, RASP-berr-ies, CHERR-ies ga-LORE.
That’s one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables (a dactyl), and four of them comprise the meter (tetrameter).
Ok, poetry lesson over. Thanks for sharing, Pat!