I Am Very Bothered Poem by Simon Armitage

I Am Very Bothered

Rating: 3.7


I am very bothered when I think
of the bad things I have done in my life.
Not least that time in the chemistry lab
when I held a pair of scissors by the blades
and played the handles
in the naked lilac flame of the Bunsen burner;
then called your name, and handed them over.

O the unrivalled stench of branded skin
as you slipped your thumb and middle finger in,
then couldn't shake off the two burning rings. Marked,
the doctor said, for eternity.

Don't believe me, please, if I say
that was just my butterfingered way, at thirteen,
of asking you if you would marry me.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Alex Kadzitu 12 July 2011

Actually i don't think he is sorry at all. He reveals his intention in the last verse and i doubt very much that it was hatred that motivated him. Nor was he clumsy i believe this is the quirkiest love poem i have ever read (so far at least)

25 22 Reply
Sarah Fish 29 March 2005

I have to say I am not a huge Simon Armitage fan, but sometimes one finds little snippets in his poems which suggest an endearing innocence, and that is what I saw in this poem. The last few lines really portrayed the well-meaning clumsiness and awkwardness that teenage boys have; being 16 myself, I am used to this side of my classmates, and it is easy to tell that it is very difficult for them to express emotion. I can understand why someone wouldn't like it, but I really felt it captured in a sense what I see around me everyday.

26 20 Reply
Richard Tattershall 19 February 2012

The cruelties of childhood and the regrets for those cruel acts we carry with us for a lifetime....

23 22 Reply
Kee Thampi 24 February 2012

to elucidate our love beyond feel of lipped your thumb and middle finger in, then couldn't shake off the two burning rings. Marked, the doctor said, for eternity.

18 27 Reply
Carlos Cordero 11 December 2012

Always the lovely twist at the end. :)

27 14 Reply
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Kay Duck 05 February 2022

My mother had a chair pulled out from under her, at school, she sat on the ground, below, and experienced a life of back troubles thereafter - NO LARK- no excuse!

0 0 Reply
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Simon Armitage

Marsden, West Yorkshire
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