When the Tree Falls

David Cooke reviews When the Tree Falls in the NORTH, Issue 63, January 2020.

'Jane Clarke's poems have an epic simplicity, a seeming artlessness that is shaped by the natural instincts of a true poet. Deeply felt and genuine, finely crafted, they resonate beyond the range of many louder voices.'

Jessica Traynor reviews When the Tree Falls on RTE Radio 1 Arts Show Arena, 20 December 2019 (Poetry Books of the Year).

'She's a poet who blends the contemporary with a great sense of the ancient and the rural... When the Tree Falls is focussed very much on the death of her father, but it's an incredibly celebratory poetry collection... There's no sentimentality, no ornamentation; every word is incredibly honed and carries a really deep emotional weight.'

Tony Curtis chooses When the Tree Falls as his poetry book of the year in Poetry Wales, 17 December 2019 (Poetry Books of the Year).

'When the Tree Falls confirms Jane Clarke's position as one of the most rewarding poets in these islands. She knows how to cut a line, how to shape words to the right instrument and then to make the thing sing.'

Steve Whitaker reviews When the Tree Falls in the Yorkshire Times, 12 December 2019.

When the Tree Falls is a protracted and desperately moving song of loss... wonderful, profoundly complete collection of poems. The sequence of poems which deal with his terminal decline are amongst the most moving i have read, as intuitively aware of the delicate, but sustaining, co-existence of the natural world, as to embody the  possibility of resurrection, if only in the resilience of the commemoration. 

Aoife Lyall reviews When the Tree Falls here, 11 December 2019:

These poems are rich and earthy, natural and cultivated, and When the Tree Falls is a beautiful second collection, giving the reader not only a sense of loss, but also peace, and even joy, in the quiet memories.

Anne Enright chooses When the Tree Falls as one of her books of the year in The Irish Times, 30 November 2019 (Books of the Year).

'The Irish poet Jane Clarke has followed a great debut collection with an even better second book. When the Tree Falls talks about her farming father in his last years. It delivers a clean, hard-earned simplicity and a lovely sense of line'

Martina Evans reviews When the Tree Falls in The Irish Times, 16 November 2019

Her observation of nature is... precise, her poems... honed to the bone. Jane Clarke knows exactly how much to withhold so that the understated phrases echo eloquently across the white space of the unsaid.

Michael Glover reviews When the Tree Falls in The Tablet, 31 October 2019

Why is poetry so capable of dealing with grief? It is something to do with the slowness of poems, their rhythmical gravity, their very pulse, which seems to simulate the heart's regular pulse too. They oblige us to take life at a seriously regular walking pace. Jane Clarke's new collection, When the Tree Falls, is about her father's dying. He was a farmer, and the poems pull in the circumstances of his life on the land, and of how he and it were wedded to each other. It centres on him but it is also a celebration of how he was centred by place and community.

Carol Rumens reviews When the Tree Falls in the context of her in-depth reading of a poem from the collection in Poem of the Week, The Guardian, 7 October 2019

The poems are plain-spoken and restrained: they resist easy consolation. Their austerity serves to intensify the unmediated emotion they almost don't want to capture... a poem might be born of personal loss, but, once completed and published, it has entered a different timespan, and becomes the forge where minds are shaped and brightened.

Many of Clarke's poems are rooted in the landscape of the west of Ireland... and the farming context in which the lives of individual humans are played out asserts its own rhythm and narrative. In honouring this larger context Clarke enlarges her poetic field with an unobtrusive but important ecopoetic dimension.

When the Tree Falls is reviewed in the inaugural issue of THE POET Magazine, Autumn 2019: 

Jane's poems are eloquent and fluid; each poem is well thought-out and expertly crafted, and most importantly for me, they read easily... I want to walk into the experience of the words and understand how they connect with my own personal emotions and experiences. And Jane's poems do exactly this. A wonderful thought-provoking collection. 

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