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 centre 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. (From New Directions)
Sylvia Legris is a Saskatoon poet and author originally from Winnipeg. She has published several volumes of poetry, including The Hideous Hidden and Nerve Squall which won the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize and Pat Lowther Award.