Friday, June 12, 2015

Poetry Friday - The Broad Bean Sermon

Today I'm thinking of gardens and summer and sharing a poem I came across while reading The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. This poem was in the chapter on the pastoral and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. That's always a good indication that I've come across a poem I need to share.

The Broad Bean Sermon
by Les Murray

Beanstalks, in any breeze, are a slack church parade
without belief, saying trespass against us in unison,
recruits in mint Air Force dacron, with unbuttoned leaves.

Upright with water like men, square in stem-section
they grow to great lengths, drink rain, keel over all ways,
kink down and grow up afresh, with proffered new greenstuff.

Above the cat-and-mouse floor of a thin bean forest
snails hang rapt in their food, ants hurry through Escher's three worlds,
spiders tense and sag like little black flags in their cordage.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Happy poetry Friday friends! 


  1. "Could I have overlooked so many, or do they form in an hour?" Perfect! It's like that with cherry tomatoes, too!

  2. Ah, gardening poetry. My garden is tiny, but I shall read this to my eggplants anyway...

    1. I read a lot of gardening poetry in the summer. Since I have a black thumb, it somehow makes me feel better.

  3. I'm anxious for the beans in our community garden to get this big. They are currently under attack by the local rabbit(s)!

  4. Oh my, delightful that those beans can be so much more than I have imagined, "each sealed around with a string". Thanks Tricia, my look at vegetables just rose a few notches.

  5. Hahahaha. Love this poem. I am waiting for our beans to grow this tall. Then I'll remember your poem. :-)