One of the things that strikes me is how much the use of the oral tradition has been lost. Generations of wisdom lore lost to many. Oh, here and there, a fortunate child still has the benefits of a lesson in the basics of living well (in the timeless ways) with that lesson coming not from a google search or a YouTube video, but rather from a family elder. But in many cases, those traditional sayings are simply being forgotten.
So in honor of all those snippets of wisdom accumulated by former generations, today's poetry post is only poetry in a quilted fashion. These sayings are taken from Bernard Schofield's A Miscellany of Garden Wisdom. Imagine you are hearing them from an old man wearing a floppy straw hat and gloves, as you pick blackberries together on a bright morning. As you pick, he sing-songs the likes of these:
- The soil is rather like a bran tub--you only get out of it what you put in.
- This rule of gardening ne'er forget, to sow it dry and set it wet.
- One for the rook, one for the crow, One to die and one to
grow; Plant your seeds in a row, One for pheasant, one for crow, One to eat and one to grow.
- Much February snow, a fine summer doth show.
- If you enjoy the fruit, pluck not the flower.
- Cut thistles in May, they grow in a day; Cut them in June, that is too soon; Cut them in July, then they die.
- When snails climb up the stalks of grass, wet weather is at hand.
- If lilies be plentiful, bread will be cheap.
And last but not least, ushering in tomorrow's image--Daffodowndilly has come to town, In a yellow petticoat and a green gown!
Now, let's imagine our Blackberry-picking Buddy takes us into the kitchen for a cooling drink of Blackberry Shrub...