Simon Armitage

(26 May 1963 / Marsden, West Yorkshire)

I Say I Say I Say - Poem by Simon Armitage

Anyone here had a go at themselves
for a laugh? Anyone opened their wrists
with a blade in the bath? Those in the dark
at the back, listen hard. Those at the front
in the know, those of us who have, hands up,
let's show that inch of lacerated skin
between the forearm and the fist. Let's tell it
like it is: strong drink, a crimson tidemark
round the tub, a yard of lint, white towels
washed a dozen times, still pink. Tough luck.
A passion then for watches, bangles, cuffs.
A likely story: you were lashed by brambles
picking berries from the woods. Come clean, come good,
repeat with me the punch line 'Just like blood'
when those at the back rush forward to say
how a little love goes a long long long way.


Comments about I Say I Say I Say by Simon Armitage

  • Susan Williams (2/5/2018 3:45:00 PM)


    part 2- - these people are our brothers and sisters- -don't turn your back on them, do not shame them [somebody else far darker than you has already done that]- -just extend the hand of compassion and love and listen to their hurt and learn from it. A powerful write a powerful poet who stood up and told the truth and it is an ugly truth. 10 of course. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Susan Williams (2/5/2018 3:44:00 PM)


    There is such pain such agony in this world that many are blessed never to go through. This poet and his poem confronts the absolute reality of an ugliness that undermines everything for some- these people are our brothers and sisters- (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (2/5/2018 3:19:00 PM)


    A yard of lint! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (2/5/2018 12:54:00 PM)


    Those who cut are in need of treatment. (Report) Reply

  • Lyn Paul (2/5/2018 10:00:00 AM)


    Bharati's comments below give an answer to the painful story in your poem.
    Your words are certainly a wake up to what is reality for many. Without life being hard enough.
    Thank You
    (Report) Reply

  • Bharati Nayak (2/5/2018 8:03:00 AM)


    Come clean, come good,
    repeat with me the punch line 'Just like blood'
    when those at the back rush forward to say
    how a little love goes a long long long way. - - - - - -Life is a story of struggle.It is never straight.Let us guide the less fortunate ones with a little bit of love.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (2/5/2018 5:23:00 AM)


    Congrats for being chosen, Simon....10++++ (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (2/5/2018 4:53:00 AM)


    Cutting oneself is portrayed in full sight in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Mahtab Bangalee (2/5/2018 4:21:00 AM)


    O yes just like blood
    rushed at the back
    and went a long long long way.
    Whitened red
    lusterless hemoglobin
    the street of hope
    and swathed all rue day......
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/10/2018 12:17:00 PM)


    For a laugh! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (1/10/2018 7:23:00 AM)


    But Ithink, a little love can go a long long way. One thing I take away from this poem is that one can find almost anything in poetry. -GK (Report) Reply

  • (1/10/2018 3:17:00 AM)


    Yes while picking berries from the wood of life we may stumble upon wild and unkempt path covered over with briars and brambles that may sting or heal for the sake of a little love that goes...........very insightful and penetrating indeed........thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/10/2018 2:38:00 AM)


    Such a brilliant poem by Simon Armitage👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (6/18/2017 12:22:00 AM)


    Amazing poem with an insightful narrative and a message- 'a little love goes a long long long way'. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (2/24/2016 4:02:00 PM)


    Nice poem (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/2/2016 12:37:00 PM)


    when those at the back rush forward to say
    how a little love goes a long long long way.
    (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (12/11/2014 9:03:00 AM)


    nice piece of work - well crafted thank you for share (Report) Reply

  • Soul Watcher (12/11/2014 5:43:00 AM)

    Report mid=5654457
    nice poem... thank you Already Reported Reply

  • K.c. Ford (12/11/2014 2:44:00 AM)


    A good idea, but expressing a weak and insipid poem, as is the rest of Simon Armitages work. He's fashionable and the best of this barren period, but not one poem will out live his death. (Report) Reply

    (12/3/2017 7:54:00 AM)

    I've had a rethink. You might be right because poets spread it too thinly One whom i call 'the worst published poet in England has NINE books of his stuff. It could be trimmed down to six or seven average odes

    (10/24/2017 6:16:00 AM)

    a poem's long life = quality? Mm! Take Kipling's If. mediocre. isn't it? Ah! but the simple stoic content appeals to many. Not me! it's almost not poetry but should be on the shelf with self help and therapeutic maxims. Bad example? well.. I'd prefer Pearl even should it die unknown

  • (12/11/2013 5:28:00 AM)


    Whoah This is spectacularly good
    Very deep, intense, dark in the spotlight...
    Feels unreal yet I know this is the reality of so many
    Ends almost like rap
    Nice flow
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: pink, passion, dark



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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