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Why We Make Gardens

  • Subtitle: (& Other Poems)
  • Image: Image
  • Book Type: Poetry
  • by: Jeanne Larsen
  • Date Published: October 2010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932412-959
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 74pp
  • Price: $14.95
  • Review by: Renee Emerson


There is a lushness and close attention to sound, the way the words feel in the mouth, in Larsen’s work. Sometimes the sound is so dense and thick with consonance the lines can be difficult to read aloud; for example, in “The Gazing-Globe Garden,” the line “Carrara of columns, remembrance’s / granite acute” shows close attention to sound, the similarity of “granite” and “acute” working as a slant rhyme.

“The Garden of Wood” is one of the more striking poems in the book. True to its title, it is a poem about wood but written nearly as a personification, and ending with these resonating lines: “It tends other gardens / with shreds of its skin. / Its secret is bending, is also / refusal to bend.”

Larsen writes about other writers in several of her poems, often from the author’s perspective. Nathanial Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Anne Spencer, and Ralph Waldo Emerson are just a few of the authors she pays homage to in her poetry.

Overall, Larsen’s work captivates with its prismatic look at the word “garden,” revealing all of the intricacies and possibilities of the word.
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Review Posted on August 04, 2014
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