LOTW 83: “The Rose Giver”

By: Jordan Brannen

While approving pending documents last week, I came across this very interesting poem called “The Rose Grower”. After several minutes of searching the web, I came to the conclusion that this is an original piece. The poem describes an older woman whose face is dried up “like a piece of mutton tallow” and whose “speech is blunt as her garden spade”. That being said, the author juxtaposes these harsh features of this older woman details about her heart. The first stanza ends with the two lines, “BUT SHE CAN RAISE SUCH ROSES, MY, OH, MY SUCH ROSES.” The second stanza goes on to describes how careful the woman is with the roses and how great care she takes of them. After reading this poem, one can only see the overarching resemblance that the older lady in the poem bears to Martha Berry. The roses are metaphors for the mountain children that she helped raise. It is documented that she had strict rules for the students at the Berry Schools, but that is because she loved for the students so much, and wanted them to turn out to be the best citizens of the world that they could be.

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