Tuesday Poem: The Seed Shop

THE SEED SHOP, Muriel Stuart

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry—
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.
Dead that shall quicken at the call of Spring,
Sleepers to stir beneath June’s magic kiss,
Though birds pass over, unremembering,
And no bee seeks here roses that were his.
In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams,
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century’s streams,
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.
Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.

Muriel Stuart , who died in 1967, was at one time a celebrated poet, praised by Thomas Hardy and Hugh MacDiarmid amongst others. She stopped writing poetry in the 1930s and her work is now largely forgotten – but I love this example, especially at this time in the Northern Hemisphere when it’s hard to believe that spring will ever come; that gardens will grow again; that “June’s magic kiss” will bring anything to life once more.

For more Tuesday poems go to the main hub site, if you’re not already there, where a main poem is posted each week. Further poems can be found on the blogs of the Tuesday poet members in the sidebar.

And yes, I know I’ve posted this on a Monday afternoon, but it’s already Tuesday in New Zealand where the Tuesday Poem site originates, and the new main poem that’s just up is so wonderful I have to post this myself. Immediately. Got to be there…

6 Responses to “Tuesday Poem: The Seed Shop”

  1. Mary McCallum Says:

    Belinda – what a terrific idea for a poem and so beautifully achieved – starts small, ends huge – thank you! And bravo getting this up – all power to you. X

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks, Mary. I couldn’t have done it without Muriel Stuart!

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    ‘I can blow a garden with my breath’ – what an image! Also love the dark mystery of the line ‘in this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams’. Such an apt poem for this time of year (come, spring, come!!). I am completely ignorant of Muriel Stuart’s poetry, Belinda – I shall definitely have to go out and seek a collection or two to read :)

  4. admin Says:

    I hadn’t heard of her either, Elizabeth, until I came across this poem a year or two ago. So glad you liked this example of her poetry.

  5. Helen McKinlay Says:

    Here in their safe and simple house of death,
    Sealed in their shells a million roses leap;
    Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
    And in my hand a forest lies asleep.

    Love this verse. Not dead at all but full of incredible potential.
    Thanks for posting this Belind

  6. admin Says:

    So glad you enjoyed it, Helen.

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