Thomas, R. S. (Ronald Stuart)

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Jul-05-1999


The poet contemplates (metaphorically) an abandoned, overgrown garden. "What god is proud / of this garden / of dead flowers, this underwater / grotto of humanity?" he asks. He sees limbs waving, faces drooping, and voices clawing. He recognizes great medical figures like Charcot and Alzheimer. There are no gardeners. As he turns away, he tries to take solace in the thought that somewhere "there is another / garden, all dew and fragrance." [30 lines]


The title of this poem locates the garden of the last phase of life. The passage of time has turned eyes once clear, now "cloudy with rheum." The only comfort is the thought that the apparent "brambles" might, in fact, be an initiation or a transitional phase before entering "another / garden, all dew and fragrance."

Primary Source

Twentieth Century Anglo-Welsh Poetry


Seren (Poetry Wales)

Place Published

Bridgend, Wales




Dannie Abse