by Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia is owner and founder of Kindred SF Homes and a top San Francisco Realtor. Check out RealEstateTherapy.org for refreshing reflections on the meaning of home and for more “best real estate advice” (since 2013).

Reading time: 2 minutes

This is a reboot of a 2017 blog post from Real Estate Therapy. It’s my attempt at a little levity in the face of our new shelter-in-place order from the city of SF!

A regular participant in my writing workshops was kind enough to introduce me to the “Country House Poem.” Something I knew nothing about!

According to Wikipedia, it’s a poem in which “the author compliments a wealthy patron or a friend through a description of his country house.” Popular in early 17th century England, there are numerous examples of them.

Here’s an excerpt from a 1568 poem by Geoffrey Whitney that compares Combermere Abbey to a beehive:
There, fertile fields, there, meadows large extend;
There, store of grain with water and with wood.
And in this place, your golden time you spend,
Unto your praise, and to your country’s good
This is the hive, your tenants are the bees –
And in the same, have places by degrees.

Perhaps I should bring back the Country House Poem – or a variation of it. I could write a tome for each of my clients after close of escrow. Or I could write silly real estate poetry for my own entertainment, with verses like these.

For a (relatively) inexpensive, tenant-occupied, 2-unit fixer on a yet-to-be-transformed SOMA alley street:
Though urine soaked with walls grafitti’d
And rents so low one can’t be greedy
This home in progress path is planted
N’er take low-cost square feet for granted!

For a $2,250,000 2-bedroom 1500 sq. ft. top-floor condo overlooking Dolores Park:
Where else wouldst thou spend fifteen hundred a foot
With roof rights on which a nice deck could be put
For watching the revelers in Dolores Park
And hearing them long, long, long after it’s dark?

For the emotionally appealing Outer Parkside surf shack that recently broke the one-million-dollar ceiling on a funky 2/1/0:
Tsunami, liquefaction and dam inundation
Might give you a moment of slight hesitation
But Ocean Beach beckons to you and your dog
Especially on rare days without any fog

For the sight-unseen property you offered on during COVID shelter in place:
In the photos the house looks all shiny and new
The location and price seem just right to me, too
So why do I wake in a cold sweat each night
As the thought of this home purchase fills me with fright?

Clearly, I have some serious work to do if I’m going to revive this art form! If you have an original poem about a property, please share it?

Photo Credit: Thought Catalog

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