‘A day will come when you won’t miss
the country na nagluwal sa ‘yo.’
– ‘Antiemetic for Homesickness’
The poems in Romalyn Ante’s luminous debut build a bridge between two worlds: journeying from the country ‘na nagluwal sa ‘yo’ – that gave birth to you – to a new life in the United Kingdom.
Steeped in the richness of Filipino folklore, and studded with Tagalog, these poems speak of the ache of assimilation and the complexities of belonging, telling the stories of generations of migrants who find exile through employment – through the voices of the mothers who leave and the children who are left behind.
With dazzling formal dexterity and emotional resonance, this expansive debut offers a unique perspective on family, colonialism, homeland and heritage: from the countries we carry with us, to the places we call home.
"A poetry of rapturous images and riveting conscience." Tracy K. Smith
"Romalyn Ante is a poet to fall in love with. A flower of both the Philippines and the Black Country, her vivid, sensual poems weave a fascinating and moving story of migration and loss, caring and tenderness." Liz Berry
"What might it mean to survive the incandescent distances between here and all we’ve ever left behind—the languages, the myths, the keepsakes and names? How can we return to lost things and those who love us, relearn what draws away from memory? Romalyn Ante traces paths back through such questions with the grace of lancets, illuminating scars and landscapes, celebrating the “invisible…goddesses of caring and tending” in this brilliant collection. It is something of miracle to experience a debut that charts our "dislocated world" with such incisive generosity. I am beyond grateful for these poems—each one pulsing with “the rhythm of a shockable heart.”" R.A. Villanueva