Chatelaine is a collection of poems whose personae, like a family portrait, resemble one another in foxed, latent ways. Its voices stalk across time and space, inhabiting genres of riddle, fragment, confession, lyric and ekphrasis, and returning to images of metamorphosis and possession. A chatelaine is the mistress of a castle or ancestral household, but in this collection’s elegant but unruly house mysterious transformations occur, dreams and hallucinations project strange apparitions and landscapes, words twist and turn, references to tradition go hand in hand with sci-fi special effects and cinematic staging. The place resounds with accusations and misgivings and scorn – and with playfulness and wilfulness and virtuosity too. And through these unsettled happenings, perhaps pointing to their source, the poems ask: who does this place belong to, and who will inherit it? Who lives here, and who comes as a visitor?
pp : 96
Published : October 2017