on 28 December 2008
A great friend of mine, who knows these things, described Kathleen Jamie as 'perhaps the best British contemporary poet'. I don't pretend to her depth of knowledge, but for me, this collection is peerless. A profound understanding of human beings as a part of the whole living world underpins Jamie's vision> Her language moves easily between the earthy and the ethereal. She's a bit like Mary Oliver for grown-ups - she has a broader vision and is less prone to sentiment. Every image is authentic and precise, every poem, accessible yet profound, spiritual without being sentimental or religious.
on 21 July 2012
I'd not read Kathleen Jamie before, then a friend said I didn't know what I was missing. How true! I read this collection recently and was blown away by it. The beauty, simplicity and clarity of the poet's voice and the power of her images transform the natural world. It is uplifting verse - you truly will feel better after reading it. Kathleen Jamie writes about the flow of life between all things, about our inescapable bond with nature and our responses to it. This is modern lyrical poetry at its best; each poem tempts you back several times and lines echo in the memory all day. You'll never look at trees or birds the same way again. This is what poetry is for.
on 15 December 2015
The way that the poems are ordered within the collection is like wandering the rooms of some vast monolithic display where each of the exhibits are described in crystal clarity. For me, the collection does not quite reach the heights it should as it lacks a sense of personal experience. Even though the poems are obviously written through some sort of experience they seem to miss human interaction, except for the The Wishing Tree and The Tree House which contain a quality of assured grounding that the others seems to be skirting around.
on 16 March 2014
These are short poems that manage to convey a wide view. She combines detailed, personal observation - one feels she has looked at wild life and the landscape with a close eye, experienced it with her whole being - with a broader yet no less considered view of modern life.