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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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‘We Do Language Like Spiders Do Webs’: Kathleen Jamie and Michael Longley in Conversation

‘We Do Language Like Spiders Do Webs’: Kathleen Jamie and Michael Longley in Conversation

Chapter:
(p.168) 16. ‘We Do Language Like Spiders Do Webs’: Kathleen Jamie and Michael Longley in Conversation
Source:
Kathleen Jamie
Author(s):

Maria Johnston

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696000.003.0024

Michael Longley writes of Jamie: 'She has perfect pitch, a natural sense of cadence and verbal melody that helps to give her work the feel of organic inevitability'. Longley flies close to the heart of his own work, revealing their shared aesthetic practice, central to which is the idea of poetry as dialogue. This chapter tunes in to Longley and Jamie as poets in conversation with each other, across boundaries of nation, time and space, and not merely at the level of shared subject matter, but more profoundly at the level of poetic technique and formal concerns. Both are poets of the singing line and both are shifting, sea-faring poets crossing sound- and sight- lines in their endless probings of words and worlds. Both engage with and extend the limits of the lyric, in particular the sonnet form, and in the work of both the energies of translation lie at the core of the artistic enterprise. Jamie and Longley see into the life of poetry as an act of conversation, an art of conversion.

Keywords:   Kathleen Jamie, Michael Longley, Poets in conversation, Lyric, Soundscape, Northern Irish and Scottish poetry

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