A “Renga” is an ancient form of Japanese poetry. The Divine Farmer’s Renga is an homage to all the tea sellers, divine farmers, and pastoral gleaners whose use of medicinal herbs creates a kind of poetry all its own. The Divine Farmer’s Renga is a “materia medica,” or tome of medicine, that reads like a book of poetry. Or some might say it’s a book of poetry that reads like a materia medica. Written straight from the heart, this unique work combines years of research, journal entries, letters, and notes written on table tops and the back of napkins from journeys around the world and into the self. It includes nearly 250 individual Chinese herbology entries, ranging from the “Gathering Happiness Flower” to the giant black centipede. Each listing provides alternate names from other modalities of alternative medicine, as well as the “Five Elements” of energetic qualities and a quick reference of traditional uses in Chinese medicine. Tying the herbs together are more than 1,000 haiku-style verses arranged in traditional Japanese “san-ku,” or candlestick form. Some poems refer to the herbs themselves. Others range from the insightful to the sublime: pastoral tributes to the Japanese poet Basho or the simple nostalgic joys of tasting a cheap popsicle. Alexander Lucksmith’s first book is an eclectic, original work that is perfect for poets and practitioners alike.



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