Simon Armitage

Summer 2018

God for a fortnight, pharaoh
till the generator blows, then what?
This week’s most missed:
the shipping forecast; showing off.
Write ALIVE in the meadow
with empty blue oil drums in case
clouds can read/stars give a shit.
Two million years of shame
takes some shucking off—I still
nip behind a wall to exude.

Mandrake prospers in the cracks.
Corned beef and cling peaches again;
note to self: start growing stuff.
Along the station’s oxidized tracks
every minute pulls in on time.
Ripples on the lake: ditto, ditto.
On the plus side my golf swing’s
unrecognizable these days. Love is:
an afternoon in the Glyptotek
with Madam Kalashnikov.

Simon Armitage lives in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, and is professor of poetry at the University of Leeds. His most recent collection is "The Unaccompanied" (Faber & Faber, UK, Knopf, US, 2017), and his medieval translations include "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" (Faber & Faber, UK, Norton, US, 2007). His dramatic reworkings of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey have been performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, London. In 2015 he was appointed Oxford University professor of poetry.

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