I've done well, sey so meselfe. Have traded textiles and vows fashioned millinery birdnestings as fine as Philip Treacy, halo creations brighte proude than Frangelico. Standing tall kept me upright saved me from oblivion, will get back to hats. Many a fine frockery have I cut & worn some even with buttons running all the way doun & upround again. Nodout for sure ma style wer too loud for sum, have been called any fin from scarecrow to fake cnight, what fakery? what knihtery? I play it large and bold, travel the distance forshure, nat grene as Gawain, the citys ma domayn, I'm Dame Alisoun Alys Ali Alyson. As for dress I take all ma Qs from Getalife, will get back to what.
Likeso have steered ma life a stourdy mount, life-partnered once, lit that match, and a few more. Eeasier sayd thane doon but ne will have lovemakes plow ma jarden wivout cheking out t instrumnts & the mental state of their flowering. In ma team I made ma bed reel bizzy a stretch a streowen for many leien in, yoohoo we did! bountyful booties ov all kinds & kins entwined revling ydizzied, in nightly prospectings we made liht of the derke.
Say-so maself sbeen good, spite a beating, or two.
“As a female lead, Alisoun resonates as one of the more provocative and talked about voices in the vast riches of Chaucer’s medieval pilgrim tales. Yet every naming is both an affirmation and a holding station. Tales lead to more tales. Stories get woven from multitudes of stories. Voices call up other voices. A voice is a voice-cluster. I sense her coming through as a concert of sounds…”
Copyright © 2019 Caroline Bergvall
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Caroline Bergvall is a writer of French-Norwegian origins based in London. She works across art-forms, media and languages; outputs alternate between books, collaborative performances and language installations. Caroline is currently a Visiting Professor in Medieval Studies at King’s College London. She will be Poet-in-Residence at Brown University, Spring 2020.
Alisoun Sings finds its starting-point with Chaucer’s iconic, proto-feminist Wife of Bath. Her forceful voice leads the way across narratives of gender, and addresses the brutality of social conventions with caustic humor. This labyrinthine text navigates love and protest in landscapes impacted by global warming, systemic violence and solar eclipses. Bergvall continues her previous work creating texts that rest on transhistoric forms of English, beyond its dominance as a global lingua franca, and places her quest in the intersections and migrations of stories and languages.
“Caroline Bergvall brings exceptional linguistic range and sensitivity, active engagement, dynamic experimentation and intellectual passion to her poetic and artistic creations.”
—Marina Warner, best-selling critic and author, Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists
“Alisoun’s been to hell and back as an art and fashion loving, potty mouthed, unaccommodating desiring feminist queer mother-of-us-all disobedient and irrepressible and ever deep and vulnerable language breaker.”
—Rachel Levitsky, publisher, Belladonna* NY, activist, writer