Signs, Music

Poems

ISBN:
9781959030799
Pub Date:
09/17/2024
List Price:
$16.95
Page Count:
88
ISBN:
9781959030874
Pub Date:
09/17/2024
List Price:
$16.95
Page Count:
88

“Reaches a level of genuine intimacy.”
—Will Harris

“A prayer for a world that might yet look tenderly upon young black life.”
—Victoria Adukwei Bulley

Acclaimed poet Raymond Antrobus returns with Signs, Music, a stunning book of poetry that captures imminent fatherhood and the arrival of a child.

Structured as a two-part sequence poem, Signs, Music explores the before and after of becoming a father with tenderness and care—the cognitive and emotional dissonances between the “hypothetical” and the “real” of fatherhood, the ways our own parents shape the parents we become, and how fraught with emotion, curiosity, and recollection this irreversible transition to fatherhood makes one’s inner landscape. 

At once searching and bright, deeply rooted and buoyant, Raymond Antrobus’s Signs, Music is a moving record of  the changes and challenges encompassing new parenthood and the inevitable cycles of life, death, birth, renewal and legacy—a testament to the joy, uncertainty, and incredible love that come with bringing new life into the world.

Praise

  • Reading Raymond Antrobus’s Signs, Music, was an exhilarating (re)ride into the wonders and terrors of becoming a new parent. It’s hard to explain how much parenting can change a person, but Antrobus succeeds: “I broke up/with announcing my convictions and good news/on the internet I broke up with talking to myself/as if I’m not there I broke up with people-pleasing/and the trembling boundary between life and still life.” Here is a beautiful mapping of a journey of this life that becomes this life in all of its anaphoric radiance. Each letter in these poems is bursting at the seams.

    —Victoria Chang, author of With My Back to the World

  • “Raymond Antrobus’s Signs, Music is unlike any poetry about becoming a father I’ve read. A report from two different countries—the land before birth and afterwards—the strength of this book comes from what it lets stand: half-thoughts, snatched conversations, hard memories. Caffeinated anticipation gives way to exhaustion and wonder, and a darker strain of introspection. The transition from fatherlessness to fatherhood isn’t smoothed over, but the son’s birth allows for a reconfiguration of relationships—with Antrobus’s mother, with the city he grew up in. ‘They’ve always been here,’ he writes. ‘I’m just / moving slowly enough to see them.’ Here is a book of slow seeing which reaches a level of genuine intimacy.”

    —Will Harris, author of RENDANG and Brother Poem

  • “Signs, Music wades devotedly through weathers of joy, grief, wonderment and terror—all of which arise as fleetingly on the page as they do in the throes of new parenthood. Vulnerable and hopeful, though never expectant of certainty or utopia, Signs, Music is a prayer for a world that might yet look tenderly upon young black life.”

    —Victoria Adukwei Bulley, author of Quiet

  • “In this honest, witty and humane book, Antrobus brilliantly pins down the before and after of parenthood—and the uncrossable gap between the two. These poems manage to look both backwards and forwards: at who we were, who we are and who we hope to be.”

    —Joe Dunthorne, author of O Positive