This book combines poetry and pragmatism to teach the language of landscape. Anne Whiston Spirn argues that the language of landscape exists with its own grammar and metaphors, and that we imperil ourselves by failing to learn to read and speak this language. To understand the meanings of landscape, our habitat, is to see the world differently and to enable ourselves to avoid profound environmental and aesthetic mistakes. Offering examples that range across thousands of years and five continents, Spirn examines urban, rural, and natural landscapes. She discusses the thought of renowned landscape authors - Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lawrence Halprin - and of less well known pioneers, including the Australian architect Glenn Murcutt and the Danish landscape architect C.Th. Sorensen.