By Cole Swensen
Those poems are approximately gardens, fairly the seventeenth-century French baroque gardens designed via the daddy of the shape, André Le Nôtre. whereas the poems specialise in such examples as Versailles, which Le Nôtre created for Louis XIV, in addition 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 appears to be like specifically on the notion of public as opposed to inner most estate, asking who truly owns a backyard? a steady irony accompanies the query simply because in French, the word "le nôtre" capacity "ours." while all of Le Nôtre's gardens have been designed and equipped for the aristocracy, this day such a lot 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)
The endless lawn appears as a straight line. The pain of singular time, as a tree must feel about space. 39 .. ” Dear Kindness Dear Altesse and endless canal to see such a river fall in a single eye, such terrasse was there young again among paths. And I your servant and I your calipers made them winners. From which windows, the clouds — that one, for instance, the atomic structure of acres and that one, a thoroughbred racer in a dovecote. And your stables full of ravens. We will, all our hats upon this sunny day, capsize in a storm and with a horse under each arm, Madame, have you the interlocking nature of even the smallest particles?
Topire me a sky; shape it like a mind. 27 This page intentionally left blank VAUX-LE-VICOMTE ....... This page intentionally left blank .. IF A GARDEN OF NUMBERS If a garden is the world counted and found analogue in nature One does not become two by ever ending so the stairs must be uneven in number and not exceed thirteen without a pause of two paces’ width, which for instance, the golden section mitigates between abandon and an orchestra just behind those trees, gradations of green that take a stethoscope: we risk: Length over width to make the horizon run straight equals to make the pond an oval: Width over length minus the width in which descending circles curl into animals exact as a remainder.
FURTHER NOTES ON THE COLLUSION OF TIME AND SPACE Every point in space aims for an equally precise one in time. For centuries, Vaux-le-Vicomte had been heading toward August 17, 1661, 6 pm: The carriages arrived. 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.