Moonrise Press is pleased to announce its newest poetry collection, Gardens of the Earth: According to Nature, by Margaret Saine (September 2018). This exploration of nature tamed and shaped by humans, nature that in turn shapes the gardeners and gives them a purpose, a cause for action, and a reason for reflection. Saine's trip to the garden includes the seasons, rain and sunlight, and lots of birds. She shares her delight in gardens and gardening with a host of her contemporary poets and friends and the renowned gardeners of the past. The book includes a separate section on trees, and is richly illustrated by Saine's own photographs, with the characteristic interplay of light and shadow, water, clouds and mists.
ISBN 978-1-945938-25-2 (paperback), $18.00
ISBN 978-1-945938-26-9 (color paperback), $40.00
ISBN 978-1-945938-27-6 (ebook in ePub format), in preparation
ABOUT THE POET
Margaret Saine lives in Los Angeles. After a doctorate in French from Yale, she taught Spanish at universities in California and Arizona. She writes poetry, haiku, and short stories in five languages and also translates other poets. Her books are Bodyscapes,Words of Art, Lit Angels (Moonrise Press, 2017), and five haiku chapbooks.
Poetry manuscripts ready for publication include The Five Senses, Reading Your Lips,Words of Winter, and While Alive, as well as Paesaggi che respirano [Breathing Landscapes], to be published in Italy. She has recently completed As You Were Saying, a dialogue with American poet William Carlos Williams.
ACCORDING TO NATURE
Gardens. All humans love gardens. They exemplify human well-being in nature, a nature made by plants that is evidently joyful and at ease, and eminently pleasing to the eye. My title may be ambiguous to some, those who perceive gardens as cultivated alone, and nature would then be the antithesis.But I want to stress gardens as the synthesis they are, of ambient nature and of human nature. Gardens represent a nature cultivated and beautified to human tastes, they are nature on a human scale, in a human measure.
But one learns with regret that gardens don’t last forever. First they grow and are arranged, with large empty spaces still in between small growing plants and trees; then they have their heyday; but soon they may almost imperceptibly fall into neglect and alteration. They may go wild, haywire, go to seed, during one of those long trips one takes, or they may be downright abolished by others, the authority. Bulldozed, paved over.
My garden is my sky lab, made up of star dust. It is an adventure that does not entirely depend on me, but has its own—always surprising—dynamic. After I set it up, give it the basics, it begins to follow its own rules and laws and continues to surprise me. Each interference by me—ripping out and putting in, weeding, pruning and shaping, coaxing and tying up, lowering and stretching—is minor compared to what looks like the garden’s own will, and which is none other than the interaction of all elements of this ambience according to nature. Including the plants themselves, who affect other plants and the environment, and are affected by them in return.
I like it when my garden does so much better than I had thought, or at least when it does unexpected things, in an intriguing, overall good way. But when the emperor vine or morning glory, which blooms on its white shelf when I wake up, begins winding across the stone path like a snake and crawling over other plants and strangling them, I have to interfere and strangle the strangler, so to speak, limiting her to her place.
I live, we live, on this earth. Flowers are a gift, they seek and elicit beauty in us and from us. Gardens are always “according to nature,” environmental nature as well as human. There are no human beings who don’t like gardens. And all gardens like and welcome humans. After all, we and the plants are each other’s fondest breath.
~ Margaret Saine
ABOUT THIS BOOK
“All humans love gardens.” With this observation Margaret Saine shares her lifetime of poems about plants. The beauty of flowers is what ties us to the earth, here turned into poetry, with our gratitude.
~ Agnes Rosenblüth
Gardens, as always in poetry, are pretexts. In this new book, Margaret Saine attempts to reveal to us, simply and purely, their mystery. Nature and poetry are unified in a symbiotic song of life. “Gardens of the Earth” is a peaceful symphony of beauty that pulses with the chords of human existence: the garden as metaphor of our condition of transient beings on this earth.
~ Eliécer Almaguer
The growing of plants, their enticing being explained by a kind gardener aunt to a lonely girl. Plants, flowers, paragons of life, as recipients and keepers of personal memories. Plants, trees of the world, here seen with the oceans, as giving breath, oxygen, to human beings. And plants, reciprocally breathing the carbon dioxide humans exhale: a true terrestrial symbiosis.
~ Sibilla De’Salici
When the trees forget /that I am there/ I have truly arrived/ in their midst, says Margaret Saine. And so I felt, reading Saine’s latest book, “Gardens of Earth”, that I had arrived in the midst of poems, as unselfconscious as the trees she inhabits. How does a poet bring a reader into the middle of gardens without becoming precious or mundane? Saine invites us with her natural rhythm, color and the interweaving of several languages, enveloping us completely in beauty before we know what has happened to us. The poet reminds us that we are spirits, that this garden, as she says, is our entrance into matter, l’entrata in materia. If paintings could be poems or poems paintings, this book would be the avatar.
~ Alice Pero, author of “Thawed Stars”, founder of Moonday Reading
Series and Windsong Players Chamber Ensemble
Margaret Saine’s Gardens of the Earth is an exceptional exploration of gardens not only as a small patch of land that bring gardeners peace, but as part of a larger biosphere, connected forever to the larger world. She might start in a plot of land on the earth, but her poetry reaches out to discuss the atmosphere, an encroaching urban world, and life and death itself. Her microcosm explores the macrocosm of this world.
~ John Brantingham
TABLE OF CONTENTS
According to Nature ix
Playing with Shadows 5
The Bird 7
Midwinter Early Spring 8
Planten un Blomen 9
Heads or Tail 11
After the Monsoon 12
Dopo il Monson 14
Once Upon a Wind 16
January Rose 18
Garden Borders 19
Clouds #1 21
Clouds #2 22
Clouds #3 22
Lifetime Guarantee 24
Garden Sketch 25
Forest for the Trees 26
Short Poems 27
Bearded Iris 28
Bird of Paradise 30
In the Winter Garden 34
Narcissus by Caravaggio #2 38
Climbing Rose 42
Black Pansies and Forget-me-nots 44
Transporting the Euphorbia 45
Daylilies Daily 46
River Voices 49
NINE TREE POEMS 50
Wind in the Pepper Tree 52
The Fig Tree 53
The Ear Tree 55
Tree as a Book 56
Klimt’s Tree of Life 57
The Tree Outside 58
Amor sacro amor profano 61
In Each of Us 63
Rose-Red Flower Woman 65
So Many 67
Random Light Spots of Time: An Almanach 69
About the Poet 77
Saine's previous book published by Moonrise Press was Lit Angeles, described on its website here, and available from lulu.com and from Amazon.com.
LINKS TO LULU.COM
Paperback, ISBN 978-1-945938-02-3, $15.00
Color Paperback, ISBN 978-1-945938-04-7 , $35.00
EBook, Apple Books, iTunes, Nook, etc., ISBN 978-1-945938-05-4, $10.00
EBOOK ON KOBO:
About Saine's Lit Angels, on this blog:
And on Village Poets blog: