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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-04-14
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr

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This book explores gardens, particularly the seventeenth-century French baroque gardens designed by the father of the form, Andreacute; Le Nocirc;tre. While these poems focus on such classical examples as Versailles, which Le Nocirc;tre created for his principal employer, Louis XIV, they also explore the garden as metaphor. In bright and vivid imagery, Cole Swensen considers everything from human society to the formal structure of poetry. She looks in particular at the concept of public vs. private property asking, who actually owns a garden? A gentle irony accompanies the question in this case because in French, the phrase "le nocirc;tre" means "ours," and while all of Le Nocirc;tre's gardens were designed and built for royalty and the aristocracy, today most of them are public parks and thus very much ours, but in a way that makes us continually define who "we" are. Much of Le Nocirc;tre's work had a playful edge-he delighted in tricks of perspective and fanciful fountains-which is echoed in these poems through leaps of language and logic, bringing to the page the play of light, sound, scent, and sight that forms the heart of any garden. Swensen probes the two senses of "Le Nocirc;tre," considering both the man himself and the literal meaning of the phrase, to discover where they meet. In this graceful and generous book, they intersect at responsibility; it is this obligation that these poems explore.

Table of Contents

A Garden Is a Start Paradise Leaving the Middle Ages
The Birth of Landscape Architecture
The Garden as Architecture Itself
The Garden as Extension Sir Mine Gardens Belong
In an Effort to Make the Garden a Standing Proof Certain Principles
Must Be Observed A Garden Occurs in Four Stages
A Garden as a Letter
A Garden as Between
A Garden as a Unit of Measure Anamorphosis Euclid's
Eighth Theorem Because a Garden Must End
If a Garden of Numbers
Further Notes on the Collusion of Time and Space Working Conditions Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)
Water Labyrinths and Mazes
Other Gardens
Saint-Germain-en-Laye Chantilly Saint-Cloud Meudon
The Medicis
Catherine (1519-1589)
Marie (1573-1642)
The Luxembourg Gardens
Versailles the Unfurled
The Divinity of the Sun King
The Garden as a Map of Louis XIV Le Nocirc;tre's Drawings
And the Birds, Too The Ghost of Much Later
"You Are A Happy Man, Le N+Tre"
On Happiness Psychic Botany
The Gardened Heart Tuileries, January 2007 Keeping Track of Distance
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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