This eloquent and powerful book combines poetry and pragmatism to teach the language oflandscape and thereby to avoid making profound aesthetic and environmental mistakes inlandscape design. Using examples that range across thousands of years and fivecontinents, Anne Spirn examines urban, rural, and natural landscapes and calls for changein the way we shape and respond to them. "This remarkable book urges readers to understand the common language of landscapewhich speaks to all our senses every day. Primitive peoples lived closely within thelandscape and instinctively understood that landscape was the source and matrix of theirlives. Anne Spirn strives to describe the permutations of this shared language as a resourceto enrich modern man's dialogue with nature as well as with the man madelandscape."--Lawrence Halprin, Fellow of the Americna Society of Landscape Architects "Anne Whiston Spirn brings to her reading of landscapes the eye of an artist, the mind of ascholar, and the pen of a gifted writer. What she has produced is nothing less than a fieldguide for all who share her belief that the language of landscape is among the richest andmost meaningful that any of us can ever hope to understand. The result is a triumph. Thereare a few books that have the power to change the way one sees the world. This is one ofthem."--William Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, Geography,and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison "Landscape speaks to us. But how? Anne Spirn's superb and unique achievement is tospell out the "how" so that we can better understand landscape's variant dialects--itsdistinctive personalities--and respondintelligently, with appropriate emotion."--Yi-FuTuan, emeritus professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison .