Read Selected Poems of Simon Armitage by Simon Armitage Free Online
Book Title: Selected Poems of Simon Armitage|
The author of the book: Simon Armitage
Edition: Faber & Faber Poetry
The size of the: 6.93 MB
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Date of issue: September 4th 2008
ISBN: No data
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Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 4.2
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There's lots of reasons for liking a poet. If you have so many they cancel each other out the instant you try and get them on paper, it's a good sign you've struck gold. That, at least, is how I feel about the poems of Simon Armitage.
Elsewhere, Armitage says that he's interested in poems that can tell a story, and in poems that want to crack the chemical equation for language, the self, etc. etc. He likes both, but, given the choice, he'd rather have the former (no member of the difficult crowd, this lad). That commitment has helped to give England one its most quotable poets since Larkin. The best of Armitage's lines weld themselves to the underside of memory:
'I said no, no,no,no,no,no,no. OK, come on then.'
'Here's how they rated him when they looked back.
Sometimes he did this, sometimes he did that.'
'Because the worm won't know your make of bone from mine'
'its gashed, rhinoceros, sea-lion skin
nursing a gallon of rain in its gut'
'And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often'.
He can command range and narrative power; he has a strongly ironic sense of humour that complements a no-nonsense approach. He doesn't think that the stuff of ordinary life is somehow unfit for poetry. Admittedly, his pre-emptive sense of irony - what Sean O'Brien has called his 'I speak your one-liner' mode - can sometimes drain the blood of an otherwise fine poem, as in the last line of 'It Ain't What You Do It's What It Does to You'. Perhaps this is what some people mean when they call his poems unfeeling.
I don't agree. In Armitage's most moving poems (nearly always about love), he manages to silence his inner smart-aleck, and learns to trust what springs from pure feeling. I wished some more poems in this vein from his first collection, Zoom! (such as 'The Dykes', 'The Night Shift' and 'Somewhere Along the Line') had made the cut, and replaced slighter pieces like 'And You Know What Thought Did' or 'The Whole of the Sky' pieces from Armitage's 1997 collection, Cloudcuckooland.
My favourites in the selection are as follows:
Poem (From Kid)
Great Sporting Moments: The Treble
The Two of Us
Lines Thought to Have Been Written on the Eve of the Execution of a Warrant for His Arrest
The Book of Matches sequence in general, and 'I am very bothered when I think...' in particular.
I Say I Say I Say
Goalkeeper with a Cigarette
'Somewhere in the state of Colorado...' (From Killing Time: an inner cheer when I saw it, the fulfilment of a silent prediction I made in 1999)
Followed by, in my opinion, Armitage's best poem 'To His Lost Lover.'
This is a worthy, if slightly uneven, selection from one of England's most enjoyable living poets.
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Read information about the authorSimon Armitage, whose The Shout was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, has published ten volumes of poetry and has received numerous honors for his work. He lives in England.
Armitage's poetry collections include Book of Matches (1993) and The Dead Sea Poems (1995). He has written two novels, Little Green Man (2001) and The White Stuff (2004), as well as All Points North (1998), a collection of essays on the north of England. He produced a dramatised version of Homer's Odyssey and a collection of poetry entitled Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus The Corduroy Kid (which was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize), both of which were published in July 2006. Many of Armitage's poems appear in the AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) GCSE syllabus for English Literature in the United Kingdom. These include "Homecoming", "November", "Kid", "Hitcher", and a selection of poems from Book of Matches, most notably of these "Mother any distance...". His writing is characterised by a dry Yorkshire wit combined with "an accessible, realist style and critical seriousness."
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