The Lost Garden


I went to the garden of love.
And saw what I never had seen.
A Chapel was built in the midst.
Where I used to play on the green

William Blake

Restless thoughts continually plagued,
could find no rest in town abode.
Heart and soul sought sanctuary –
my mind then turned to childhood roams.
Imagining kind nature’s scenes:
sweet blossomed air, while courting dove’s
wings flutter over fresh dewed grass,
where I could rest from life’s trouble,
and all I wish to be be free of.
So, I went to the garden of love.

The journey was eerily new,
yet with sense familiarly mixed,
indicating it was the old.
Few landmarks could I recognise,
topography had so much changed –
none of which I could have foreseen.
My longing for nostalgia – dashed,
yesterdays will not come again.
I wept for what used to have been,
and I saw what I never had seen.

Green and browns had all been displaced.
Rich textures: moss, bark, soft petal
with brick and mortar were replaced.
I stood as stone amongst the wreck,
speechlessness held me fixed and numb.
Bereaved of what used to exist,
gradually, my rage built up.
All I could see was ugliness.
All I loved was now sorely missed –
for a Chapel was built in the midst.

People filed past in pensive mode
through the temple’s cold, rigid jaws,
where painful rules shackle shadows,
casting out joy for miser laws.
Where love’s song had softly echoed,
I found nothing but cruel routine.
“Your either with God or against” –
warmth lost to controlling regime.
The sight to me was so obscene
where..I play..on the green.

Today at dverse Samuel Peralta has us trying our hand at Glosa, which involves starting with another poet’s quatrain, and then writing four new, ten line stanzas, where the last line for each stanza uses a line from the quatrain (lines 6 and 9 rhyming with the last line in the stanza).


33 thoughts on “The Lost Garden

  1. It took me forever to decide on a quatrain, and then I still had to write the’m running a bit behind, but will be around to read other dverse glosa soon!

  2. Amazing Rowan. Well chosen quatrain to start with, and how ugly and controlling religion can be.

    “Your either with God or against” –
    warmth lost to controlling regime.
    The sight to me was so obscene
    where..I play..on the green.

    … and as usual a lovely read. 🙂

  3. really nice commentary on religeon for religeons sake there in the end…i grew up in a church like that til i escaped in my teen years….the doing just to do, the rules, the declarative for or against…routine….that line nailed it….and great work on the form…it works very nice…

  4. I like how you used the garden in the beginning as one of love, a sanctuary then shifting to the chapel built in the last verse ~ Your disgust and disappointment are palpable at the end ~

    Lovey use of the form and the take off from Blake’s quote is done very well ~


  5. speaks volumes of man’s cravings to conquer all, control all and name of religion serves as a vicious tool. Very well written Rowan! Breathes a new perception

  6. Blake would highly approve of this one. Great choice–you were able to keep the spirit of Blake while adding your own voice and style, just perfect!

  7. So vivid, Rowan. I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic schools w/ rigid nuns… it wasn’t until I was adult that I learned the difference b/t spirituality and religion.

  8. really cool cabeza you chose for the poem and i like how the chapel is built (without us doing so much) in the middle of the garden of love where he used to play…so chock full with symbolism and a great message

  9. The great thing about this piece is that you’ve taken Blake’s theme from the cabeza and expanded on it, filling out the thoughts and emotionality implicit in his original. Not only is this glosa an honorific to Blake’s conception, but, in a language contemopraneous with his writings, an extension. Great job.

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