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Kathleen JamieEssays and Poems on Her work$
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Rachel Falconer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696000

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696000.001.0001

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Transcending the Urban: The Queen of Sheba

Transcending the Urban: The Queen of Sheba

(p.42) 4. Transcending the Urban: The Queen of Sheba
Kathleen Jamie

Amanda Bell

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines The Queen of Sheba (1984) for evidence of the seeds of Jamie's ecological interests. It focuses on five poems which chart the growth of a female sensibility, from childhood through early parenthood and into independent self-awareness. The poems analysed are ’Mother-May-I’, ‘Child with pillar box and bin bags’, ‘Fountain’, ‘Flashing green man’, and ‘Skeins o Geese’. In these poems, the urban is represented by the constructed human environment and the rules for normative behaviour; the rural by the natural, nonhuman, world outside, best characterised as ’the anti-urban’. The chapter demonstrates how, although usually considered in terms of Scottish identity, The Queen of Sheba marks the first stages of Jamie's interrogation of the place of the human in the world. It concludes that the collection can be seen as a paradigm for the development of an ecopoetics

Keywords:   Kathleen Jamie, anti-urban, ecological, ecopoetics, nonhuman, place, The Queen of Sheba

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