Garden Physic | Granta

  • Published: 07/04/2022
  • ISBN: 9781783788279
  • Granta Books
  • 112 pages

Garden Physic

Sylvia Legris

Garden Physic is a radical poetic movement through plant life. With her singular line, she journeys readers through an investigation of how we articulate our ecological surrounds in language through botanical histories.

With a structure that emulates the style of classic manuscripts, Legris’s book deploys humour, deep intellect, and a fanatical obsession with the potential of language, punching through the cliches of contemporary nature writing. A brief snapshot:

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.

The whole book is a glorious meditation on the garden and the power of plants: how they can heal us, emotionally and physically, and how we communicate with them.

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 Tamás

[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'

Seán Hewitt

The Author

Sylvia Legris, a poet whose ‘work crackles with exuberant wackiness’ (CBC/Radio-Canada), was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is the author of the poetry collections The Hideous Hidden, Pneumatic Antiphonal, and Nerve Squall (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and Pat Lowther Award). Legris lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

More about the author →

Sylvia Legris on

Poetry | The Online Edition

Four Poems

Sylvia Legris

‘Carboniferous cockroach. / Gregarious cockroach.’

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Best Book of 1891: The Birds of Manitoba

Sylvia Legris

‘During the pandemic, birds (along with many insects and wild plants) have landed in my life and poems again.’

Poetry | The Online Edition

Three Poems

Sylvia Legris

‘By the dog the minced oaths, / the god-wounds, the solemnly / declared chronical maladies.’