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Poems for GardenersBOOK REVIEWS

Poems for
Gardeners

Germaine Greer
Virago Press, Penguin
$NZ35

GERMAINE Greer, pioneer feminist, academic and passionate gardener, digs deep into verse's treasure trove to come up with this thought-provoking, entertaining anthology.

Greer says her aim was to "assemble a group of poems that would mean more to gardeners than they would to people who don't garden".

This wide-ranging collection is culled from 79 poets and split into seven categories: The Garden; The Gardener; The Seasons and so on.

Represented are classical, mediaeval, metaphysical and romantic poets. Emily Dickinson (dubbed by Greer as, "perhaps the greatest of garden poets") and the recently movie-venerated Sylvia Plath are here; so, too, is our own - or nearly our own - Fleur Adcock. Adcock's An Emblem, a playful tribute to mating slugs, is among our favourites.

Greer's footnotes on each poet provide fascinating botanical and biographical insights. The index, listing both the poets and the first lines, makes it easy to find your way around.

The scarlet hard cover, embossed with a peony, and the ribbon bookmark add a bonus touch. Put this one on the gift-list for a special gardening friend.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 142, 2004, Page 28
(reproduced in Horticulture in New Zealand:
Journal of the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture 2005, 8(1): 20)

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Weekend Gardener


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