I’m excited to share with you an article I read today (28 March 2019) on emerging poet Raymond Antrobus who has received the prestigious Ted Hughes award for his debut collection ‘The Perseverance‘ (which was also previously named Poetry Book of the Year in 2018 by The Guardian and The Sunday Times).
Raymond is half Jamaican and half British and was born deaf, and according to the BBC article he was “thought to be dyslexic with severe learning disabilities until his deafness was discovered at the age of six”.
Raymond has obviously faced many difficulties in his life including, no doubt, prejudices based on his disability and mixed heritage, but he has more than overcome them and now works around the world as a freelance poet and teacher, dividing his time between the UK and Jamaica.
His poems are said to touch on a range of issues including his deafness, race, and masculinity.
As an aspiring poet myself, it is more than encouraging to hear stories like Raymond’s and to be reminded that no matter what obstacles are put in the way, we can overcome them if we are determined enough and sure of who we are and where we come from.
Below is one of my most recent poems called ‘Colour’ – let me know what you think of it in the comments.
White is always good peaceful, pure, love
A symbol of light, hope snowflakes or a dove.
Black is always bad full of hate, fear and dread
This is how we know colours mess with your head.
Red is dangerous, but also romance or a rose
Black is deep darkness we see how this story goes.
But I am not a colour that is not how I’m defined.
I am as deep as the ocean unquenchable, like the tide.
I am a rainbow forged from multi-coloured shards.
A diamond so priceless, rare cut from seen, unseen scars.
We are trapped by the colours they keep us from being free,
to see the real beauty that’s simply you, simply me.