by Tiffany Troy '22

Published by BlazeVOX (2023)

If logos, the law of the father, could be personified, the “Master” of Tiffany Troy’s devastating debut collection Dominus is its Hegelian sine qua non. It follows the journey of a “Baby Tiger” whose lyric powers and canonical, mythic transmutations (of Dostoevsky, Whitman, Machiavelli, Montaigne, and the epic Greeks) evince the apprenticeship of a genius. Is it wrong to “want life to matter” amid a wasteland of toxic positivity, double whoppers, trains, and “fathers beyond reproof”? If work involves subjection, rage, and shame, is poetry—the “Lyrical I” of a “shredded soul”—a higher legislature capable of revolt? Darkly funny, virtuosic, and formally ingenious, Dominus offers a cathartic transcendence from paternalist and systemic oppressions, via a symbiotic power dynamic whose pathos rivals Cordelia and Lear. What Troy forges in this trial by fire isn’t “corporate professional” compliance but a soul: the Nietzschean transformations of her speaker move through “the light Blake calls experience” to arrive at sublimity: “the golden center of the heart.”