Out on 12 September 2024

Signs, Music

Raymond Antrobus

12 September 2024
96 pages


‘I became fatherless at 26 and a father
at 35 and whenever I look out

the living room window I feel myself
become the child left alone in the house’

Centred around two lyric poems on imminent fatherhood and the birth of a child, Signs, Music is a book about masculinity, fatherhood, and love. The speaker, looking backwards to his late father and forwards to his new son, prepares to become a parent for the first time. Meditating on the cognitive and emotional dissonances between the ‘hypothetical’ and the ‘real’ of becoming a father, this irreversible transition causes the poet’s ‘lines [to] lead towards my father (again!)’.

Charting the ways parenthood disrupts the poet’s sense of self, and how the pain of the past triggers fears of ‘fatherly failure’, Signs, Music is a staggeringly profound collection from one of Britain’s most adept poets writing today.

This is a book of slow seeing which achieves a level of genuine intimacy
His poems manage to look simultaneously backwards and forwards, into the past and the future – at who we were, who we are and who we hope to be
[Raymond Antrobus's] poetry transcends speech, sound, silence, words – and what we are left with, when we close this astonishing book, is the vibration of the emotion on the blank page