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Poetry Nature

Garden Physic

by (author) Sylvia Legris

Publisher
New Directions Publishing
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Category
Nature
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780811229906
    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price
    $23.95

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Description

Sylvia Legris’s Garden Physic is a paean to the pleasures and delights of one of the world’s most cherished pastimes: Gardening!

“At the center of the garden the heart,” she writes, “Red as any rose. Pulsing / balloon vine. Love in a puff.” As if composed out of a botanical glossolalia of her own invention, Legris’s poems map the garden as body and the body as garden—her words at home in the phytological and anatomical—like birds in a nest. From an imagined love-letter exchange on plants between garden designer Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson to a painting by Agnes Martin to the medicinal discourse of the first-century Greek pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides, Garden Physic engages with the anaphrodisiacs of language with a compressed vitality reminiscent of Louis Zukofsky’s “80 Flowers.” In muskeg and yard, her study of nature bursts forth with rainworm, whorl of horsetail, and fern radiation—spring beauty in the lines, a healing potion in verse.

About the author

Nerve Squall is Sylvia Legris’s third book-length poetry collection; her previous books are Iridium Seeds and Circuitry of Veins. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, in 2001 she won the Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize for ‘Fishblood Sky,’ and she received an Honorable Mention in the poetry category of the 2004 National Magazine Awards. She is currently a resident in the state of fidgety fretfulness.

Sylvia Legris' profile page

Editorial Reviews

For Legris, the sum of life is not necessarily sense, story, or quanta but is also a strange summation of unknowing.

Over the past twenty years, Canadian poet Sylvia Legris has quietly built a remarkable, multilayered body of work worthy of deep exploration and appreciation. An artist of relentless evolution and experimentation, Legris’ poetics compress and expand, infusing elements of dance, botany, and human machinery into new structures and imagery that is at once wildly imaginative and deeply visceral.

Pulsing with secretions and excretions, her poetry saturates our imagination and invigorates our curiosity.

Garden Physic is the author’s best book in a so-far stellar career.

Using florid language and poetic verse, Garden Physic revels in the pleasures of nature, weather and color — and how the garden functions as a place of growth and healing.

Bookish gardeners will delight in this playful modern-day florilegium.

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