[11/02/2021] Garden Physic by Sylvia Legris

[11/02/2021] Garden Physic by Sylvia Legris

Regular price $16.95 Sale

New Directions, paperback

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

Publisher Marketing: A musical celebration of the garden, from chaff to grass, and all of its lowly weeds, herbs, and creatures

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.