Garden Summary

Summary (Masterpieces of American Literature)

“Garden,” sometimes titled “Heat,” relates a mundane request of a type that many people commonly make relating to the seasons. One wishes—or prays—for rain as well as for a breath of fresh air. In this poem, however, H. D. elevates the request into a poetic occasion, one that provides readers a focus for intense contemplation.

As in “Oread” and many of her poems, the poet opens with an address or appeal—to nature, to a deity, to another person, or to herself. “O wind, rend open the heat,/ cut apart the heat,/ rend it to tatters.” The poetic voice makes the immediate request in pounding, aggressive, and compact lines and follows with a number of direct assertions—fruit cannot even fall in heat this intense, the poem states. The compression of the poem seems to reinforce the close air and the poem’s concluding plea to the wind: “Cut the heat—/ plough through it,/ turning it on either side/ of your path.”