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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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Form in The Tree House

Form in The Tree House

(p.103) 10. Form in The Tree House
Kathleen Jamie

Michael O’Neill

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the use and workings of form in Kathleen Jamie’s The Tree House. It explores how she balances the claims of modernity and tradition, how she deploys an idiom that combines dialect, the demotic and the literary. It argues that the volume’s use of form is in contact with what in one poem is called ‘the common currency’ of human experience. It maintains that the volume’s handling of form shows Jamie’s awareness that any meanings derived from nature have, at least in part, to be meanings conferred upon it. The chapter also discusses Jamie’s ability to interweave motifs and themes on the volume, and it looks at the intermittent, productive tension between grand assertions at the close of poems and the seeming fragility of poetic form as a vehicle for larger resonances. It concludes by affirming that, in the volume, form is a mode of self-aware and resourceful attention.

Keywords:   Kathleen Jamie, The Tree House, form, sonnet, couplets, nature, mind, self-awareness, dialect

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