• Peacetime

    Simon Armitage

    Summer 2018

    No one really believes those police barracks
    are student dorms. Through shuttered windows
    late-night dog-walkers on the path through the woods
    have glimpsed truncheons and braided caps
    hanging on bedposts and bedroom doors,
    or heard raucous gypsy-bashing songs
    ricocheting among sycamores.

    The constables here carry revolvers
    but buy their own bullets;
    low wages keep the body count down,
    though like any city
    with a history worth knowing the capital boasts
    gunshot holes plugged with chewing gum
    at chest height on the cathedral walls.

    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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