Anchored is Lorna Shaughnessy’s third collection of poems and explores what it means to be anchored in the physical world, in the limitations of the human body, in the present and in the past.
The themes of witness and survival seen in previous collections are revisited in ‘The Injured Past’, a sequence of poems based on events in mid-Ulster in the 1970s. Conflict and the dynamics of power are also central to the ‘Aulis Monologues’ inspired by Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia when the Greek flight is anchored in Aulis, awaiting departure for Troy.
These are challenging poems that penetrate the ambivalent nature of what it means to be ‘anchored’ in many realms of experience, whether emotional, physical or political. Multiple voices and perspectives draw the reader into close quarters with the realities of human limitation at times expressed with candid directness, at times through metaphors that surprise and even startle, but always in language that is precise, probing and fresh.