Ted Fawcett on Gardens in English and Chinese Poetry

Red, white and pink flowers in a Yangzhou gardenIt is a pleasure to discover Ted Fawcett’s love of gardens is undimmed. Writing in the Historic Gardens Review (August 2008 Issue, p.12), he observes that ‘Gardens are the poetry of landscape. They contain, in concentrated form, views, water, trees and flowers and so, like poetry, purvey an essence’. The implication is that landscapes are prose and gardens are poetry. He quotes a beautiful verse from Po Chu-i (AD 772-846) ‘at that time the best-known poet in the world’:

The red flowers hang like a heavy mist;

The white flowers gleam like a fall of snow.

The wandering bees cannot bear to leave them;

The sweet birds come there to roost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *