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

  • (8/4/2018 2:52:00 AM)

    @cameron same (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (7/27/2018 10:57:00 AM)

    This is very dark bun intriguing (Report) Reply

  • (6/28/2018 6:34:00 AM)

    lol I like minecraft (Report) Reply

  • (5/7/2018 4:42:00 PM)

    excuses is the word that comes to mind - we all make them (Report) Reply

  • Henry Tong (5/7/2018 10:53:00 AM)

    This poem is marked with a pro avant-garde way of poetic expression. The poet utilizes enjambment to create a telling tone, and strong resonance keeps the verses flowing. Notably, what I like about this poem very much is its distance with audience-sometimes close, when a likely story is addressed with lucid details, and sometimes aloof, when objective mood is shed in There...There. (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (5/7/2018 4:27:00 AM)

    What a wonderful poem. No shame. A strong internal rhyme to keep it rollicking from the first, behind a false bravado. Not end rhymes, where everything is obvious and up-front and, maybe, more honest. The poem is always a half-step behind its own emotional unloading. Wonderfully done with a wry irony and brutal false-comic assault. Tough luck indeed. (Report) Reply

  • (5/7/2018 4:13:00 AM)

    That is a sad picture you paint. May you come out of the dark days soon. (Report) Reply

  • Mary Skarpathiotaki (5/7/2018 1:54:00 AM)

    (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (5/7/2018 12:46:00 AM)

    This poem is macabre. Particularly, given the mental problems associated with cutting. (Report) Reply

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Read all 38 comments »

# 222 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: pink, passion, dark

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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