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Borage Blue

Oliver Southall

Borage Blue

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ISBN 978-1-9999718-8-5


Borage Blue is a collection of prose and verse meditations on nature and sensation which includes the experimental text ‘On Borage: Notes for an Impossible Poem’. Occasioned by eclectic observations of the medicinal and culinary herb Borage (Borago officinalis), and taking tangents through ancient philosophical accounts of touch, the poetic theory of Dante, and the metaphysics of Leibniz, ‘On Borage’ builds carefully and obliquely towards imaginative insights on language, perception and the experience of the lived body.


As well as establishing concerns – perception; language and beauty; the enigmas of living being and of being alive – which are central to the whole collection, ‘On Borage’ also proposes the closed grammatical sentence as the basic unit of poetic experimentation for the poems which follow. Built around the syntax of propositional logic, the texts in the second part of Borage Blue nevertheless subvert systematic thinking by developing a serial, open and refractive structure for the exploratory play of their shared concepts and ideas.


Drawing on the language of philosophy and biology and always inspired by close observation of the natural world – the foliar logic of plant galls, the many shapes of pollen and saprophytic fungi, the movement of flies and the sensoria of bees – these patient, contemplative writings reveal surprising and unfamiliar forms of ecological awareness, urging renewed attention to the wildness which is always close at hand.

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