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Longtime Swensen fans will not be surprised to find a myriad of ideas and directions on a single subject-French gardens, this time-in her 12th collection. She has similarly treated hands, odd inventions, paintings and other subjects in previous books. Created for the nobility and now mostly for public usage, gardens here become all-purpose metaphors. "A garden is a tide," writes Swensen; elsewhere it's a letter, an allergy, a tithe. The book's title is a translation of the last name of Andre de Notre, the man considered to be the father of the French formal garden. The poems, even as they are peppered with detailed histories ("In 1675, Louis XIV made Andre Le Notre a noble"), are free to go anywhere. In "Marie (1573-1642)," Marie Medici, the wife of Henry IV, finds herself at the Luxembourg Gardens in the summer of 2007: "She stood a full minute, shocked and then started screaming./ The rue d'Assas has cut off the entire northwest sector, and half the trees are gone." This may be the most engaging and delightful of Swensen's recent projects. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.