Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

"The Tree House" by Kathleen Jamie

12 pages of front-matter (including a 3 page, double-spaced contents) before we reach a title page. It's another slim 9 quid book. Put the gooduns in a pamphlet (to keep the many commissioners happy) and be done with it, I'd say. Initially I thought there were too many flashy poeticisms - the shape on the page, the poetic phrasing and vocabulary - and that impression never went away. Poems like "Frogs" last too long to be savable by the final line. "The Fountain of the Lions" does nothing much either, in a long-winded way. Things improve with "The Bower". After that, quality's variable, though the second half of the book has more good poems than the first half did. I liked "The Orchard" and "Reliquary", but they were balanced by "White-sided Dolphins", "The Brooch", "The Dipper", etc.

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