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the earth's deep breathing

Gardening Books

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The earth's deep breathing
Edited by Harvey McQueen (Random House, Nov. 2007)

This collection of poetry has been brought together by the respected anthologist and poet, Harvey McQueen. The illustrations from photographs by Gil Hanley, of a variety interesting images give an added dimension to this anthology.

These garden poems by New Zealand poets bring together gardening and poetry in a 'treasury' of 92 poems. The collection spans a century of New Zealand poetry with both well-known poets such as Ursula Bethell, and lesser-known poets. The style varies through the years and poets. The notes on each of the poets at the end of the book show the diversity of New Zealand poets' background. The inclusion criteria were to have lived in New Zealand, however briefly.

The garden subjects cover weeds and bugs to cabbages to roses. The poem by Alister Te Ariki Cambell on Shepherds Purse brought images of hot dry summers of today mixed with the medieval past Cabbages will not seem the same after Janet Frame and Alistair Paterson's descriptive images.

This book whilst not inexpensive has the benefit that it can picked up and read again and again. Even for those non-poetry lovers there will be some that catch the eye. This book is a gift for the gardener who has everything.

(Recommended Retail NZ$34.99)
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Last revised 5 January 2008