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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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‘Proceeding Without a Map’: Kathleen Jamie and the Lie of the Land

‘Proceeding Without a Map’: Kathleen Jamie and the Lie of the Land

(p.52) 5. ‘Proceeding Without a Map’: Kathleen Jamie and the Lie of the Land
Kathleen Jamie

David Wheatley

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores questions of poetic territory in Jamie’s poetry, with particular focus on Jizzen,The Tree House and The Overhaul. Wheatley considers Jamie’s political and historical poems, and their refusal to align poetic map-making with nation-building projects. Her poems about Scottish landmarks imaginatively explore local histories, rather than presuming to overturn them. She is aware of the complexities of land-ownership in Scotland and her poems make no claims of ownership of Romantic bowers or forest groves. In a distinct refusal of the bardic self-aggrandizements of Yeats or English Romantic poets, Jamie celebrates provisional sheltering spaces found on cliff-sides or coast-lines. Poetic territory remains provisional, just as political-cultural arrangements of landscape prove transient, in Jamie’s recent poetry.

Keywords:   Kathleen Jamie, Jizzen, The Tree House, The Overhaul, Cartography, Map-making, Jamie and Yeats, Jamie and Seamus Heaney

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