Sue Wallace-Shaddad reviews May We all be Artefacts by Chloe Hanks, winner of the 2020 V.Press Prize for Poetry
Effect of repetition
Chloe Hanks creates strong rhythms in her pamphlet through the repetition of words and sounds as well as her use of form and rhyme. She uses these means to capture atmosphere, and I found it particularly interesting how these enhanced her ekphrastic poems.
In the first poem ‘Testaments of an Instagram Poet’, she starts each stanza with ‘I want to write’ and uses alliteration in the first stanza with ‘delicate poetry’ which ‘fleets across the page’
in a perfect pirouette,
feather-light skirts chasing
precisely pointed limbs.
The poet uses the lyrical form of the villanelle in ‘Little Jean’, a poem about Claude Monet’s beautiful painting of his wife and son. These are the alternating lines which close the poem in the final quatrain:
Beneath the dainty sky as summer wakes,
the boy looks to the clouds for abstract shapes.
“Chloe Hanks’ melodic writing style rocks the reader into a dream-like state, with hauntingly beautiful scenes of autumnal skies and ghostly ballets. May We All Be Artefacts is a landscape of glorious imagery, transporting the reader to magical realities before bringing the point home with heartbreaking poignancy. This is a collection for the poets, for the lovers and above all for the dreamers.”
Scarlett Ward Bennet