Vocabulary in The Garden

Vocabulary Examples in The Garden:

The Garden 5

"plough..."   (The Garden)

The verb “to plough” is an agricultural term. Farmers plow fields in order to loosen soil and make it easier to plant crops and have them thrive. In this way, the speaker asks the wind to “plough” through the heat and turn it into something useful.

"blunts..."   (The Garden)

The verb “to blunt” means to purposefully weaken or neutralize. This verb connotes a type of violation or harm caused by this action. In using language that repeatedly emphasizes the violence of this heat—such as blunts, presses, rend, and cut—the speaker vilifies the heat: it is not just an effect of the weather but something malicious and damaging.

"rend..."   (The Garden)

The verb to “rend” means to tear, split, divide, or rupture. It carries violent connotations that suggest forcible destruction. This verb is interesting in this context because “heat” is a non-physical element that one would not be able to “rend.” In using this verb, the speaker suggests that the air is thick enough with heat that it could be cut open as if it were solid. We learn that it is this oppressive heat that is forcing the speaker to lie motionless as she pleads with the wind to provide relief.

"scrape..."   (The Garden)

The verb “to scrape”—or to remove the outer layer of, scratch, or pull some hard or sharp implement across a surface of—suggests a type of violence. The speaker is imagining being able to remove the color from this rose by force, as if the color could pour out of the rose like dye. This both emphasizes the flower’s vibrant color and once again introduces a surreal element into the poem.

"hail..."   (The Garden)

Roses are usually thought of as fragile and delicate. However, here the speaker compares the rose to hail—hard, icy pellets that fall from the sky like snow or rain. In this way, she undermines the reader’s expectations about the objects in this poem and forces the reader to see familiar objects in a different light.