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Signs, Music by Raymond Antrobus
Poetry Book Society Choice Autumn 2024
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Published 12th September 2024. Available for pre-order.

‘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.

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