My ear amps whistle as if singingto Echo, Goddess of Noise,the ravelled knot of tongues,of blaring birds, consonant crumbsof dull doorbells, sounds swampedin my misty hearing aid tubes.Gaudí believed in holy soundand built a cathedral to contain it,pulling hearing men from their kneesas though Deafness is a kind of Atheism.Who would turn down God?Even though I have not heardthe golden decibel of angels,I have been living in a noiselesspalace where the doorbell is pulsatinglight and I am able to answer.
“Echo” from THE PERSEVERENCE: by Raymond Antrobus.
Published by Tin House March 30th, 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Raymond Antrobus.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Raymond Antrobus’s debut collection, The Perseverance, won the Ted Hughes Award, the Rathbones Folio Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award, and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, among others. He was also awarded the 2017 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and the 2019 Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award. Born in London, Raymond is currently based between London and Oklahoma City.
"Raymond Antrobus’s compelling debut, The Perseverance, confronts deeply rooted prejudice against deaf people."
"The Perseverance relates Antrobus’s experiences of being biracial and d/Deaf in sharp and beautiful poems. . . . These poems are expressive and beautiful and will leave readers thinking differently about sound and silence."
"Antrobus can be gentle, tactile, and pointed in this book—which collects into an affirmation, a pronouncement."
—The Millions, "Best Poetry Books of March"