Book review: ‘The Overhaul’ by Kathleen Jamie

‘The Overhaul’ by Kathleen Jamie

Truth be told, I would read Kathleen Jamie’s shopping lists, were she to publish them. When I came across her first two collections of essays, Findings and Sightlines, in 2012, she immediately became my favourite writer. Jamie has a precision with words—as you might expect from a poet.

I have an irksome habit of admitting I don’t really get poetry. In truth, what I mean by this is the clichéed I don’t know much about poetry, but I know what I like. In my defence, I do at least recognise certain poetry actually represents something worth trying to get.

I thoroughly enjoyed this short collection of poems. With the exception of a couple written in the Scots dialect, I got them—or, at least, I think I did. Unpretentious, with something interesting to say. More poetry should be like this. I especially enjoyed the poems containing a touch of science, including ones about a spring flood, the shadow of a hawk, watching the Galilean Moons through a telescope, and observing moonlight crossing a study.

This is fantastic stuff! Enough to make this philistine resolve to read more poetry—which I have tried to do since first reading this wonderful collection.

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