Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Arcadian Dream Garden

An Arcadian Dream Garden by Ian Hamilton Finlay
“An Arcadian Dream Garden” by Ian Hamilton Finlay
Written on twenty benches in the plaza of
30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)
City of London, September 2005

The tomb from Nicolas Poussin's
The Arcadian Shepherds pitted with
bullet holes and scars.

A weather worn oar standing upright
in a field dotted with nettles and thistles.

An ornamental lake, on which floats
a small sailing boat or bark, with a
bark-textured hull.

A large baroque sculpture of
nymphs and satyrs riding on a tank
in the manner of tank marines.

A tree pierced right through
by a bronze arrow.

An orchestral (not a rustic) flute
a strawberry plant growing from it

A small grove composed of young pine trees
and delicate columns. All the needles which
fall from the trees are carefully swept into
heaps around the bases of the columns.

A bronze representation of a guitar
(realistic) leaning on the trunk of a
tree. (A silver birch.)

The word Fragile in roman letters,
on a formal stone placed upright by
the foot of a birch tree.

A tank approaching an
18th century ha-ha.

A heron with the head of the philosopher
Epicurus. The shaft surrounded by wild
flowers and thorns, is inscribed with the
quotation live unknown.

A living tree, on the trunk of which
is a carefully painted representation
of a classical highlight.

A neoclassical tomb in a ruinous
condition. On a piece of stone fallen
among weeds the inscription
Life is Short - The Tomb is Fleeting.

A rose lying on a rock under
a thundercloud.

An exquisitely sculptured marble tank,
inlaid with a copy of the landscape
background of Nicolas Poussin Numa
Pompilius and the Nynph Egeria

A small rise, over which the top of
a mast and sail may be glimpsed,
suggesting the sea.

A smooth barked tree (such as a beech)
reflected in the rippled water which makes
the smooth bark seem rough.

Carved on a low broken column in a
clearing the numerals 00 XXX CCXXVI L
(the dialing code for Delphi).

A similar column, but with the
dialing code for Rome (00 CCCXC VI).

A slender stone vase containing
a hyacinth: on the side of the vase
the letters Ai Ai.


Dina said...

Wow, this has to take the prize for literary benches!

Cezar and Léia said...

A homage and beautiful bench there!
very interesting bench indeed!

cieldequimper said...

Oh wow. That's brilliant.

joo said...

I wonder how I managed to miss it!

J Bar said...

Most interesting.

Francisca said...

Urban poetry... that's a first for me... and a grand idea.