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The Hideous Hidden peels back the skin and takes us on a tour of our ‘fleshes,’ our ‘complicated riddle of meats,’ the ‘Vast. Vas. Vascular. Bladder-drenched city of organs.’ It is a tour de force through the vocabulary of the body’s parts and functions in sickness and health, waking and sleeping. With more than a passing glance at the history of its description. Most of all, it is a book that makes anatomy sing.

Rosmarie Waldrop

Sylvia Legris

Canadian poet

Sylvia Legris was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and now lives in Saskatchewan. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Conjunctions, and Granta, and her third collection of poetry, Nerve Squall, won the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize.

The Hideous Hidden

Poetry by Sylvia Legris

In her first full-length collection published in the United States, Sylvia Legris probes and peels, carves and cleaves, amputates and dissects, to reveal the poetic potential of human and animal anatomy.

Starting with the Greek writings of Hippocrates and the Latin language of medicine, and drawing from Leonardo da Vinci’s Anatomical Manuscripts, the dermatologist Robert Willan’s On Cutaneous Diseases (1808), and Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil, Legris infuses each poem with unique rhythms that roll off the tongue. The Hideous Hidden boldly celebrates anatomy’s wonders: “Renounce the vestibule of non-vital vitals. / Confess the gallbladder, / the glandular wallflowers, / the objectionable oblong spleen."

Pneumatic Antiphonal

Poetry by Sylvia Legris

A fun, humming, bio-physiological word-whizzing flight into birdsong penned by the young Canadian poet Sylvia Legris — her first publication in the U.S.

The theory of corpuscular flight is the cardinal premise
of red birds carrying song-particles carrying oxygen.
Erythrocytic. Sticky. Five quarts of migration.