We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Principle of Rapid Peering

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472158864

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 2nd May 2024

Genre: Literature & Literary Studies / Poetry

Select a format:

ebook

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Self-seeding wind
is a wind of ever-replenishing breath.

-from ‘The Walk, or The Principle of Rapid Peering’

The title of Sylvia Legris’ melopoeic collection The Principle of Rapid Peering comes from a phrase the nineteenth-century ornithologist and field biologist Joseph Grinnell used to describe the feeding behaviour of certain birds. Rather than waiting passively for food to approach them, these birds live in a continuous mode of ‘rapid peering’.

Legris explores this rich theme of active observation through a spray of poems that together form a kind of almanac or naturalist’s notebook in verse. Here is ‘where nature converges with words,’ as the poet walks through prairie habitats near her home in Saskatchewan, through lawless chronologies and mellifluous strophes of strobili and solstice.

Moths appear frequently, as do birds and plants and larvae, all meticulously observed and documented with an oblique sense of the pandemic marking the seasons. Elements of weather, ornithology, entomology, and anatomy feed her condensed, inflective lines, making the heart bloom and the intellect dance.

Features drawings by the poet.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reviews

A dazzling, innovative storehouse of delight
Rebecca Tamás on Garden Physic
As a poet, Legris is a master of the curving tangent, working her way around a central theme while simply inclining, dropping clippings, allowing the reader to follow, suspended, her careful meanderings, often grounded by a hard-working title or subtle allusion
Los Angeles Review of Books
[A] bright, blazing book of poems . . . 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
Seán Hewitt on Garden Physic
Sylvia Legris's Garden Physic is the most refreshing book of the year. There's nothing around quite like it
The Sunday Times
Sensuous, brainy and cardiovascular, Garden Physic is a cutting-edge ode to plants, teeming with human knowledge and natural mystery, accompanied by gem-like illustrations by the poet
Guardian