The Herb Garden

By David Solway

The Herb Garden
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Bartholomew the Englishman was a 13th century Franciscan friar and scholar whose only surviving work, De proprietatibus rerum (The Properties of Things), was intended as an encyclopaedia of the world. The Herb Garden is an imaginary representation of what his herbarium might ... Read more


Overview

Bartholomew the Englishman was a 13th century Franciscan friar and scholar whose only surviving work, De proprietatibus rerum (The Properties of Things), was intended as an encyclopaedia of the world. The Herb Garden is an imaginary representation of what his herbarium might have looked like. The dialect of the collection is a mix of middle and modern English, a verbal florilegium meant to explore the exuberant richness of the English language that much of contemporary poetry has scanted or forgotten. The collection is also conceived as a kind of “sapiential book,” a form of counsel literature or life manual with an emphasis on everyday practice and the poet's craft.

David Solway

David Solway is the author of many award winning books of poetry and prose including Director's Cut (2003), his critique of contemporary poetry, Franklin's Passage (2003), winner of Le Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal and Reaching for Clear (2006), awarded the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. He lives in Gananoque, Ontario.

Reviews

Solway is simply one of the best things to ever happen to English-Canadian poetry.

Carmine Starnino

An engaging writer with a distinctive style and a gift for pithy, arresting, and memorable turns of phrase.

Iain Higgins, University of British Columbia

Solway writes with a Gravesian dash and brio, taking (and giving) pleasure in a fine vocabulary, a gift for surprising figures, and a striking breadth of reference.

Richard Wilbur

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