The Garden Within is on YouTube

I recently had the opportunity to attend a free workshop about creating YouTube videos, thanks to the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre’s ILLUMINATION programme.  I originally shared 8 poems from The Science Rhymes Book on YouTube in 2011.  But when YouTube merged with Google, I somehow lost access to this account.  At the first of four workshop sessions, Aaron from Pierson Media kindly took the time to reconnect me with my YouTube account.  Duly motivated, I decided to recite The Garden Within for this workshop project.

Why The Garden Within?  Because in 2019, I discovered this poem (which features on the Environmental Poetry page of the Science Rhymes website) had been published in an Indian Government School Textbook, possibly since 2014.  In a previous blog, Give & Take: The Garden Within, I mentioned this and explained how this spiritual rhyme came about.  That was after delivering this as a speech at a Toastmasters contest.

I was disappointed that The Garden Within poem had been used so extensively without requesting my permission.  I sent rallying letters to what I hoped were appropriate Indian Government departments, libraries, the book’s printer and even the Indian Embassy.  My letter asked for an apology and a copy of the book.  But no reply has been received at this stage.  Meanwhile, someone who heard my speech asked a favour of a friend who was visiting India.  I now have a hard copy of the 2020 edition of this school textbook, Our World Through English Class VIII, from the State of Telangana, for which I express my deepest thanks to those kind travellers.

I hope you enjoy my workshop YouTube recital of The Garden Within.

While preparing to share this poem’s story at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) panel discussion at Cairns Tropical Writers Festival 2024, I searched the internet and found plenty of YouTube videos about The Garden Within.  Mine is just one of many!

Here are some others:

A LESSON explaining how to interpret the poem by Prathibha (2017)
P. J. Manilal made it into a SONG (2017)
The song became a DANCE (2020)
Another LESSON by VKT English Tutor (2021)
Digial Teacher’s Lesson forgot to mention the name of the poem’s author (2021)
So did (2023)

Perhaps this poem is on a similar trajectory to Jane Taylor’s The Star (1806).  Fondly sung as the nursery rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, we rarely acknowledge those who created it (Jane and Ann Taylor).  The Garden Within has forged a life in the public domain without me.  Recently translated into Chinese & Korean, it appears to be determined to explore the world all by itself – sharing love and gratitude along the way.

The Garden Within by Celia Berrell was inspired by spiritual artist Sharon Davson’s oil painting With Gratitude Comes Growth, housed in the Hikaru Museumin Takayama, Japan.