Reading the Flowers

Arc Publications 2016

Reading the Flowers is a book to read and reread. By sticking to her subject – not just the flowers of the title but also trees and grass and the insects and birds, and humans who interact with them – Linda France has created a collection of poems as various and extraordinary and marvellous as the creations of nature it celebrates. It is a work of scholarship and imagination and precise observation: learned, sexy, witty, personal and moving. The poems are as perfect as poems can be: their language rich and seductive and exquisitely judged. They sing in the way poems should.’

Vicki Feaver

‘These poems are sensuous, disciplined, earthy and deeply knowledgeable – a knowledge worn close to the skin. Musical and exceptionally eloquent, they glow. The journey of Reading the Flowers brought me almost unimaginably close to the wonders conveyed: “As near to kin as you’ll ever be” (‘Through the Turnstile Gate’).’

Moniza Alvi

‘Seen with careful attention and gentle respect, the world – of people, land, as well as plants – is flowering. However, it takes a poet to take us through that process on a page. So skilfully! In Reading the Flowers, the world returns from being ‘it’ to ‘you’. There’s the pleasure of well-crafted words of course, but also an invitation to participate in the everyday magic of meeting.’

Ajahn Sucitto