The perseverance

Raymond Antrobus

Book - 2021

"In this extraordinary debut collection, award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus interrogates anger, grief, illness, vulnerability, deafness, and race through a commanding engagement with language, tongues, listening, and sound. In the wake of his father's death, the speaker in Raymond Antrobus' The Perseverance travels to Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona. Ruminating on the idea of silence and sound, he wonders whether acoustics really can bring us closer to God. As he receives inf...ormation through his hearing aid technology, he considers how deaf people are included in this idea: 'Even though,' he says, 'I have not heard / the golden decibel of angels, / I have been living in a noiseless / palace where the doorbell is pulsating / light and I am able to answer.' So begins a stunning examination of a d/Deaf experience alongside meditations on loss, grief, education, and language, both spoken and signed. With a global scope and a deep intimacy, Antrobus draws on family and historical figures to create a chorus of voices: on the page, in our mouths, in our hands and ears. The Perseverance is a book about communication and connection, about cultural inheritance, about identity in a hearing world that takes everything for granted, about the dangers we may find--both individually and as a society--if we fail to understand each other"--

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Subjects
Genres
Poetry
Published
Portland, Oregon : Tin House 2021.
Edition
First US edition
Language
English
Physical Description
81 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781951142421
195114242X
9781951142438
1951142438
Main Author
Raymond Antrobus (author)
  • Echo
  • Aunt Beryl Meets Castro
  • My Mother Remembers
  • Jamaican British
  • Ode to My Hair
  • The Perseverance
  • I Move Through London like a Hotep
  • Sound Machine
  • Dear Hearing World
  • 'Deaf School' /
  • by Ted Hughes
  • After Reading 'Deaf School' by the Mississippi River
  • For Jesula Gelin, Vanessa Previl and Monique Vincent
  • Conversation with the Art Teacher (a Translation Attempt)
  • The Ghost of Laura Bridgman Warns Helen Keller About Fame
  • The Mechanism of Speech
  • Doctor Marigold Re-evaluated
  • The Shame of Mabel Gardiner Hubbard
  • Two Guns in the Sky for Daniel Harris
  • To Sweeten Bitter
  • I Want the Confidence of
  • After Being Called a Fucking Foreigner in London Fields
  • Closure
  • Maybe I Could Love a Man
  • Samantha
  • Thinking of Dad's Dick
  • Miami Airport
  • His Heart
  • Dementia
  • Happy Birthday Moon.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"All good words in sign are said with the thumb," a sign language teacher declares in Antrobus's moving debut. Exploring his early experience of deafness, Antrobus invites the reader to feel the frustration and emotional complexity of navigating through the world: "I was a broken speaker, you were never a broken interpreter." Language and communication become touchstones of the collection; poems like "Aunt Beryl Meets Castro" evoke Jamaican patois ("Listen listen, you know I/ met Castro in Jamaica in/ '77 mi work with/ government under Manley"). Equally memorable is Antro-bus's consideration of his embattled identity: "There is such a thing as a key confidently cut/ that accepts the locks it doesn't fit." However, it's his evocations of his late father, a Jamaican immigrant who battled alcoholism and faced British policemen "who didn't believe he belonged/ unless they heard his English,/ which was smooth as some uptown roads," that gives the collection its heart. What might be gimmicky or sentimental—the poem "Thinking of Dad's Dick," for instance—becomes moving and memorable: "He knew he wouldn't live/ to see me grown... He had to give,/ while he could, the length of his life to me." In these pages, Antrobus's evocative, musical honesty is unforgettable. (Mar.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"In this extraordinary debut collection, award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus interrogates anger, grief, illness, vulnerability, deafness, and race through a commanding engagement with language, tongues, listening, and sound. In the wake of his father's death, the speaker in Raymond Antrobus' The Perseverance travels to Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona. Ruminating on the idea of silence and sound, he wonders whether acoustics really can bring us closer to God. As he receives information through his hearing aid technology, he considers how deaf people are included in this idea: "Even though," he says, "I have not heard / the golden decibel of angels, / I have been living in a noiseless / palace where the doorbell is pulsating / light and I am able to answer." So begins a stunning examination of a d/Deaf experience alongside meditations on loss, grief, education, and language, both spoken and signed. With a global scope and a deep intimacy, Antrobus draws on family and historical figures to create a chorus ofvoices: on the page, in our mouths, in our hands and ears. The Perseverance is a book about communication and connection, about cultural inheritance, about identity in a hearing world that takes everything for granted, about the dangers we may find-both individually and as a society-if we fail to understand each other"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The PerseveranceThe Perseverance

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Morning EditionThe GuardianThe Sunday TimesWinner of the Ted Hughes Award, Rathbones Folio Prize, and Somerset Maugham Award; shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize