Simon Armitage

(26 May 1963 / Marsden, West Yorkshire)

The Hard - Poem by Simon Armitage

Here on the Hard, you're welcome to pull up and stay;
there's a flat fee of a quid for parking all day.

And wandering over the dunes, who wouldn't die
for the view: an endless estate of beach, the sea

kept out of the bay by the dam-wall of the sky.
Notice the sign, with details of last year's high tides.

Walk on, drawn to the shipwreck, a mirage of masts
a mile or so out, seemingly true and intact

but scuttled to serve as a target, and fixed on
by eyeballs staring from bird-hides lining the coast.

The vast, weather-washed, cornerless state of our mind
begins on the Hard; the Crown lays claim to the shore

between low tide and dry land, the country of sand,
but the moon is law. Take what you came here to find.

Stranger, the ticket you bought for a pound stays locked
in the car, like a butterfly trapped under glass;

stamped with the time, it tells us how taken you are,
how carried away by now, how deep and how far.


Comments about The Hard by Simon Armitage

  • Practicing Poetess (2/11/2018 10:21:00 PM)


    I like the staring eyeballs of the bird-hides.
    Mister Armitage, you thought of everything!
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (2/11/2018 5:36:00 PM)


    I defer to Glen and Martin's illuminating comments below. Their examination of this poem yields well-thought out ideas (Report) Reply

    (2/11/2018 6:22:00 PM)

    Th8s is wonderful.

  • Glen Kappy (2/11/2018 8:29:00 AM)


    I wondered where this was going till the last four lines. The ticket in the locked car like a butterfly under glass is a cool image. And the last two lines... ah! I see. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (2/11/2018 4:19:00 AM)


    The bay by the dam-wall! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (2/11/2018 1:45:00 AM)


    Simon, such a great modern poem of the day... big congrats...10++++++ (Report) Reply

  • Martin O'Neill (2/19/2012 12:37:00 PM)


    You have the eye of the poet that sees the ticket in the car and the world shifts and another eye opens.....
    This is my kind of poetry.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: butterfly, beach, weather, car, moon, sea, sky, time



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]