By Cole Swensen
Those poems are approximately gardens, rather the seventeenth-century French baroque gardens designed via the daddy of the shape, André Le Nôtre. whereas the poems concentrate on such examples as Versailles, which Le Nôtre created for Louis XIV, additionally they discover the backyard as metaphor. utilizing the imagery of the backyard, Cole Swensen considers every little thing from human society to the formal constitution of poetry. She seems particularly on the inspiration of public as opposed to deepest estate, asking who really owns a backyard? a steady irony accompanies the query simply because in French, the word "le nôtre" skill "ours." while all of Le Nôtre's gardens have been designed and outfitted for the aristocracy, this present day so much are public parks. Swensen probes the 2 senses of "le nôtre" to find the place they intersect, overlap, or blur.
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Extra resources for Ours (New California Poetry, Volume 24)
It’s an elaborate exercise in the distortion of perspective. We stepped out onto the back terrace, and there it was, perfectly sun when suddenly a Grand Canal appeared and its swans, and its boats in the shape of swans. There’s a way to trace a path so that from the terrace it looks continuous though it’s actually broken in several places by bodies of water, stretches of lawn with occasional flowers that erase the air in gusts into all that is not garden is dance hall and ballroom whose oval circles as one approaches women spring from carriages in ostrich feathers and competition glitters, slopes.
See that distant distance? Stand there. There’s a way to compute the angle of incidence says Euclid’s eighth theorem to reel in the world we need a single viewer, said the view, who said the person who never left the back door, who is still standing there in the doorframe: I see a world so precisely distorted that I sit on the terrace sipping champagne with a friend, and as the lights come on, the painting grows within the trees and is the trees and if all of this fits within. Le Nôtre used anamorphosis to make the world come home.
He barely had time to admire, they say, recent restorations have shown vandals and war backing up toward the door and the drive a half a mile long, along the cities gallop in, there’s a city at the door where there used to be a war for here history can be refused; Le Nôtre did for instance say The pavilions will never be finished and of my stations and stepped off the train 43 This page intentionally left blank THE MEDICIS ....... This page intentionally left blank .. CATHERINE (1519 – 1589) Catherine de Me with her eye on the sea ordered a home in the Tuileries so that her front door toward the Louvre was balanced by a side door on the river (its galleries come to it naturally) we search through its arches, as much ocean as palace, and as you pronounce it: learning the word for arcade gave her nightmares in which she learned to swim, and all over her hands birds and flowering trees see petals, feathers, hibiscus, at the time was just a myth that turned into a quarter of the world’s vermilion.