There's definitely a faint fairytalesque tone to this poem. What is the blue garden and what does it mean? Well it represents some other reality - be it of death, rest, age, happiness, or maybe even melancholy. Poetry is often as puzzling as it is powerful, and the beauty of it is that the puzzle can yield different answers for different readers. What is this blue garden to you??
Helen Dunmore is an English poet and novelist.
The Blue Garden - Helen Dunmore
'Doesn't it look peaceful?' someone said
as our train halted on the embankment
and there was nothing to do but stare
at the blue garden.
Blue roses slowly opened,
blue apples glistened
beneath the spreading peacock of leaves.
The fountain spat jets of pure Prussian
the decking was made with fingers of midnight
the grass was as blue as Kentucky.
Even the children playing
in their ultramarine paddling pool
were touched by a cobalt Midas
who had changed their skin
from the warm colours of earth
to the azure of heaven.
'Don't they look happy?' someone said,
as the train manager apologised
for the inconvenience caused to our journey,
and yes, they looked happy.
Didn't we wish we were in the blue garden
soaked in the spray of the hose-snake,
didn't we wish we could dig in the indigo earth
for sky-coloured potatoes.
didn't we wish our journey was over
and we were free to race down the embankment
and be caught up in the blue, like those children
who shrank to dots of cerulean
as our train got going.