Monday, May 5, 2008

Brautigan spring

Goodness sakes, the sun has shone brightly for two days. In a row!

My lovely wife and I are considering, along with thousands of other people, planting a garden this year. Some years ago, we tried growing vegetables and flowers and didn't have much luck. The soil around our house is poor, we have no expertise in these matters, and it seems like a lot of work. Many generations of rabbits have made their home beneath our deck and this year's bunny brood will enthusiastically attack any young shoots, I'm sure.

Still, we'll give it a go.

Richard Brautigan's fourth collection of poetry was called "Please Plant This Book." Each poem was printed on the back of a seed packet. It is one of the few Brautigan books I do not own.

Here are two selections from "Please Plant This Book" (1968):

Parsley

I thank the energy, the gods and the
theater of history that brought
us here to this very moment with
this book in our hands, calling
like the future down a green and
starry hill.


Squash

The time is right to mix sentences
sentences with dirt and the sun
with punctuation and the rain with
verbs, and for worms to pass
through question marks, and the
stars to shine down on budding
nouns, and the dew to form on
paragraphs.

4 comments:

Greg said...

Two excellent selections, both unknown to me. thanks for keeping the Brautigan name alive & relevant....

Penelope said...

I think "Squash" just became one of my favorite poems.
-Penny

Jim H. said...

If we do plant a garden, I'm going to post a little sign at the end of each row with an appropriate poem on it. These poems, I suppose. Will the poems have any effect on our success as gardeners? Probably not, but the rabbits might enjoy them.

I appreciate the comments.

Phio Gistic said...

The University of Virginia rare books room has a copy of Please Plant this Book. I went to visit it back in the early 90s and they very graciously made photocopies of it for me. The seed packs are different solid colors, one side has the poem and the other has planting instructions. They were in a folder with some photos of a small girl on the front, I think she was his daughter at age 3 perhaps. There were 500 copies made.