You Have a Visitor
You Have a Visitor is a book of songs and stories. Its 52 poems are arranged to reflect the English seasons. Yet its characters range from American students on a European vacation to a television-watching emperor, and its settings stretch from a space station to Renaissance Wittenberg. Intricately constructed, and employing a range of tight metres, stanza shapes and rhyme schemes, the poems delight in making use of traditional possibilities of English verse, and are, in the case of the lyrics, highly musical. They are also fresh and immediate. The result is a collection that is evocative, thought-provoking and very different from much poetry published in recent years.
“Some poems are song-like without being songs. Wootten has made an art of the refrain, that time stopping device which can sometimes be heart-stopping, playing variations on the repetition, nudging it into a semblance of narrative development without erasing the pattern. Poetry almost becomes memory at such points.” - Carol Rumens, The Poetry Review
“crisp, well-shaped, inventive” - Anthony Thwaite
“Wootten’s voice is unlike any other on the contemporary scene: light, yet deeply felt and highly romantic, modernist, yet traditional. This intensely lyrical first collection presents an original talent in full flower.” - Hugo Williams