how to write about flowers without the nauseating sentimental phraseology? No quaint, no dainty, no winsome. This smells good, that smells bad, my hands rank with manure. This at least is pure.
What is a plant in language? Something like a ‘morose root’, ‘cream cinquefoil’, or ‘bohemian and sozzled with nostalgia’?
In Garden Physic, Sylvia Legris’s glinting studies on flora – mariner’s root, throatwort, wild rocket, cuckoo point – create an abundant and fluorescent vegetal mesh.
Combining the histories of botanical manuscripts and pharmacopeias with imagined letters between garden designers Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson and playful illustrations throughout, Legris creates an idiosyncratic botanical glossolalia for her meanderings through the physical space of the garden.
These luscious poems are a testament to the imbricated human relationship to plants; a radical defence of how we can utilize our ancient symbiosis with living greenery in order to live, heal, and nourish.
A dazzling, innovative storehouse of delight - a poetic adventure that explores the intimacy, attachment and passions that exist between plants and human beings. Legris has forged a collection that digs its fingers into the soil, that is root-linked, green hearted, made of the earth. -- Rebecca Tamas [Legris] offers the reader a "physic" in its archaic sense, as remedies for ailments... Bookish gardeners will delight in this playful modern-day florilegium * Publisher's Weekly * 'In this bright, blazing book of poems, Sylvia Legris throws language into new and revelatory relations ... Garden Physic brings to the ecological poem a language lush enough to be arrested by, to be changed by, to get lost in. I adore it' * Sean Hewitt * 'Using florid language and poetic verse, Garden Physic revels in the pleasures of nature, weather and colour' * CBC * 'Garden Physic is the author's best book in a so-far stellar career' * Winnipeg Free Press * Sensuous, brainy and cardiovascular, Garden Physic is a cutting-edge ode to plants, teeming with human knowledge and natural mystery * Guardian * A complex and emotive journey through the physic garden as it's never been experienced before. A celebration of plants and true human connection to our living greenery * Skinny * Legris presents us with a rich botanical panorama... Garden Physic is an immense panegyric, a testament to the power of environmentally minded poetry that concerns itself with the relationship between humans and the natural world... A reparative yearning moves the poems into a place of restoration, rejuvenation, and new beginnings... * Poetry Book Society Summer Bulletin *
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