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Reading “Loveable” by Raymond Antrobus



Poetry Lunch S3E9

Reading “Loveable” by Raymond Antrobus from All the Names Given, published by Tin House Books.


Have you ever not said “I love you too” when someone said “I love you”? Have you been on the other end, received that silence?

I’ve been in both places, with a number of different kinds of relationships. It’s painful every which way, whether you’re trying to calculate the right moment to call out love or find yourself quiet when it’s been called. The weight that lives in those three words, and the timing of them! They can smash a tender new relationship or nourish a well established one. They can break through and they can break you. There’s a terrible self-conscious momentousness around their first utterance between two people — I’ve cringed and twisted myself up more than once trying to control incongruous feeling.

I love how this poem moves from the night to the morning, and from a general space to a specific point in time. I feel there is a clue here, about loving and how to be loved. And how to honor dreams between.

Allow time? Allow space? I don’t know but I think less pressure is good, and acceptance is good, and I guess that’s love in the end anyway. Less attachment to outcome and more presence in the moment probably help too.

Also I am thinking about the word “loveable” and it’s choice as title; maybe part of the point here is that we don’t get to decide whether or not we’re loved. We only get to choose to love, and get to accept love from others. Seems obvious but, ever argued with someone why they shouldn’t love you? Or had someone try to convince you not to love them? Hard stuff.


Link to purchase

Get the book here: All the Names Given.