Ode to Flowers: A Celebration of the Poetry of Flowers by Samuel Carr

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Well, this book is very pretty. Samuel Carr has collected around fifty poems whose uniting feature is a floral theme, or at least a floral mention. If you think that’s a good enough reason to assemble some poems, then you may enjoy reading this book. The poems are written by famous names from Chaucer to Seamus Heaney, whose best work this collection does not usually represent, and some not-at-all-famous names, too, about whose poetry all I can safely say is that they all mention flowers. But enough of the poetry (or more about it, if you prefer dog poetry)! The reason I shall keep this book is its beautiful illustrations. There are more pictures than poems, happily, and although they range in style from watercolour to silkscreen to William Morris, they somehow coherently present the glorious, multifaceted
ecstasy of an enormous bouquet. It is unfortunate (and surely unfair to the artists and designers) that the picture credits merely list the archives from which the illustrations were sourced. I guess that Transport For London may have produced the delightful stylised cover picture, but it is not made clear.

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