this poem Fenerty is not the speaker. It is
about a blind lady who requests a person's assistance
to see her through her garden. Though this poem
might have been written when the Public Gardens
first opened in Halifax back in the last 1800s,
the poem is about Fenerty's affection for his
gardens. Charles Fenerty and his wife (Anne
Maria Hamilton) were very close to their gardens.
Sometimes when their nieces and nephews would
visits they'd take the time telling the young
children the names of the flowers. Charles and
Ann often ventured off in the woods together,
they were true naturalists. Every morning Charles
would go out to his garden and hunt down any
new weeds that might have grown over night.
Many people commented on how lovely they kept
their gardens. This poem might have been inspired
by a blind lady who might have actually asked
Fenerty for a guided tour around her gardens,
but more likely, and poetically, it might be
an analogy of how Fenerty feels about his gardens.
In a realm where perception is a key factor
in being fully aware of natures beauty, his
handicap makes apparent the loss of awareness
and the unity of two of God's creations. For
the poet, this might be enough to get choked
No more the flowers
which deck the sod
My sightless orbs, shall greet;
Yet mine the joy – I thank my God –
I still may breathe their sweet.