The Hard Poem by Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage

Marsden, West Yorkshire

The Hard

Rating: 3.3


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 OF THE POEM
Martin O'Neill 19 February 2012

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.

10 9 Reply
Practicing Poetess 11 February 2018

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

1 1 Reply
Glen Kappy 11 February 2018

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

1 1 Reply
Susan Williams 11 February 2018

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

0 1 Reply
The Crow 11 February 2018

Th8s is wonderful.

0 1 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 11 May 2021

Small error please here the word INTACT must be with a T. Thank you. This inviting poem aouit the sea and duse and all about sea and surrounding views, true entertaining poem.

0 1 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 11 May 2021

2) Thank you so much for sharing this.5 Stars Full. Best wishes from Sylvia Frances Chan in The Netherlands

0 1 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 11 May 2021

1) Dear Simon, congratulations being chosen as The Modern Poem Of The Day by Poem Hunter and Team, a very impressive poem about the sea, the shipwreck that is still intac. I have read this gorgeous poem with much joy and attention.

0 1 Reply
M Asim Nehal 10 May 2021

Nicely thought. I liked the poem, thanks for sharing it.

0 1 Reply
Chinedu Dike 10 May 2021

Really an insightful creation nicely crafted with clarity of thought and mind.

0 1 Reply

Simon Armitage

Marsden, West Yorkshire
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