Raptors by Toon Tellegen
Published by Carcanet Poetry
Published 1 August 2011
96 pages
Library book

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With tragicomic bravado and psychological insight, this collection paints a turbulent portrait of a father and his family, creating a poetic sequence that has the scope of a novel and stretches the sense of what is possible in poetry. Each poem is presented as an improvisation on the theme of the father, forming a picture of a family held hostage by the mood swings and histrionics of this patriarch. Combining intense speed and surprise with moments of sudden slowness, this compilation has the flavour and intensity of a modern classic.


Heaven broke and the earth tore
my mother came running along a platform
threw herself in front a train on a daily basis…


This is my first time reading the poet. I thought Raptors was really enjoyable. The style of poems is different than the stuff I usually read. I liked it though. Each poem takes the form of a small vignette narrating the story of an almost abusive father and the experiences of his family, blending myth and fantasy with realism to create something unique. I was impressed by Raptors and would read more of this poem. I’d recommend Raptors.




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