From "The Garden" by Sara Teasdale:

Heaped with bending asters and dahlias heavy and dark,
In the hazy sunshine, the garden remembers April,
The drench of rains and a snow-drop quick and clear as a spark;
Daffodils blowing in the cold wind of morning,

Are these just separate independent sentences? I see a lot of commas when they look like disjointed sentences that should be separate from one another, am I wrong. I am not sure to which phrase "in the hazy sunshine" belongs to. Maybe it's an independent phrases like the others.

  • Poetry doesn't follow the regular rules of punctuation. The only thing that's common, albeit not required, is to follow each line with a comma in poetry and not use periods, except maybe at the end of a poem or stanza, but only maybe. Many poems have nary a period to be found anywhere. Basically, when it comes to poetry, you can punctuate, not punctuate, somewhat punctuate, or do whatever you like, and not just about punctuation. The poet e. e. cummings, for example, never capitalized but wrote only in lowercase, which is why many, out of homage, only write his name in lowercase, like he did. May 18, 2021 at 3:37
  • @Benjamin, not so fast on the lowercase-ization of Cummings' name.
    – randomhead
    May 18, 2021 at 4:07
  • @randomhead - Okay, not so fast. I'll type it slower— e e cummings 🐢😊. I didn't say everyone does it but that many do, just like the very first words of the Wikipedia article for e e cumings says: "Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), often styled as e e cummings..." Granted, there's been some controversy over if it should be, but such controversy only proves it often is. (askinglot.com/why-did-ee-cummings-not-capitalize) (u-s-history.com/pages/h3881.html) (theberkshireedge.com/…) May 18, 2021 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


The sentences are not really independent, but they are not grammatically correct enough to be called dependent. As Benjamin Harman says, poetry is not bound by such strict rules as the rest of English.

To "correct" it, I would write something like this:

In the hazy sunshine, the garden (which is heaped with bending asters and dark and heavy dahlias) remembers April and the drench of rains and a snow-drop which was as quick and clear as a spark; the garden remembers daffodils blowing in the morning's cold wind...

but of course to write it out like this, while helpful for understanding what the poem is actually saying, makes it no longer a poem at all.

  • 1
    Wow. Well explained. It was so clever of you to go ahead and write it out in prose comprised of complete sentences like that because your having done so not only helpfully clarifies the meaning for the OP, as he or she did seem confused about a bit of it, but also shows very, very clearly how it loses its poetic power and effect in doing so. 👍🏼 May 18, 2021 at 6:01

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