Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage Poems

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

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

Five pounds fifty in change, exactly,
a library card on its date of expiry.

A postcard stamped,


And if it snowed and snow covered the drive
he took a spade and tossed it to one side.
And always tucked his daughter up at night
And slippered her the one time that she lied.

I have not bummed across America
with only a dollar to spare, one pair
of busted Levi's and a bowie knife.
I have lived with thieves in Manchester.

Just how it came to rest where it rested,
miles out, miles from the last farmhouse even,
was a fair question. Dropped by hurricane
or aeroplane perhaps for some reason,

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

We hunted, swept the planet pole to pole
to capture a glimpse of that rare species.

Through a thermal lens we spotted a shoal,

I was pegging out your lime-green dress;
you were hoping the last of the sun
might sip the last few beads of drip-dry water
from its lime-green hem.

The sun comes like a head
through last night's turtleneck.
A pigeon in the yard turns tail
and offers me a card. Any card.


It is not through weeping,
but all evening the pale blue eye
on your most photogenic side has kept
its own unfathomable tide. Like the boy

Simon Armitage Biography

Simon Armitage is a British poet, playwright, novelist, and translator born on May 26, 1963, in West Yorkshire, England. He is known for his accessible and often humorous poetry, which often explores themes of nature, social issues, and personal experience. Armitage studied at Portsmouth University and later at Manchester University, where he received a Master's degree in creative writing. He worked as a probation officer before turning to writing full-time. In 1989, Armitage published his first collection of poetry, "Zoom!" which was followed by several other collections, including "Kid," "Book of Matches," and "The Dead Sea Poems." He has also published novels, plays, and translations of medieval poetry. Armitage has received numerous awards for his work, including the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Forward Poetry Prize, and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. He has also served as the Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and as the Oxford Professor of Poetry. In addition to his writing, Armitage has also worked extensively in broadcasting and media. He has presented several television and radio programs, including a documentary about the Pennine Way, a long-distance hiking trail in northern England. He was also the lead writer for the BBC Radio 4 series "The Odyssey," which retold the story of Homer's epic poem in a contemporary setting. Today, Armitage is considered one of the most important and popular poets in the UK. His work has been widely anthologized and has been translated into numerous languages. He continues to write and publish new work, and his contributions to literature and culture have been recognized both nationally and internationally.

What poems has Simon Armitage written?

Armitage's poetry collections include Book of Matches (1993) and The Dead Sea Poems (1995). He has written two novels, Little Green Man (2001) and The White Stuff (2004), as well as All Points North (1998), a collection of essays on the north of England. He produced a dramatised version of Homer's Odyssey and a collection of poetry entitled Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus The Corduroy Kid (which was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize), both of which were published in July 2006. Many of Armitage's poems appear in the AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) GCSE syllabus for English Literature in the United Kingdom. Some of these include: "Homecoming", "November", "Kid", "Hitcher", and a selection of poems from Book of Matches, most notably of these "Mother any distance...". His writing is characterised by a dry, native Yorkshire wit combined with "an accessible, realist style and critical seriousness." Armitage also writes for radio, television, film and stage. He is the author of four stage plays, including Mister Heracles, a version of Euripides' The Madness of Heracles. He was commissioned in 2004 by the National Theatre in London to write Eclipse for the Connections series, a play based on the disappearance of a girl in Hebden Bridge at the time of the 1999 solar eclipse in Cornwall. Most recently he wrote the libretto for an opera scored by Scottish composer Stuart MacRae, The Assassin Tree, based on a Greek myth recounted in The Golden Bough. The opera premiered at the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland, before moving to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. Saturday Night (Century Films, BBC2, 1996) – wrote and narrated a fifty minute poetic commentary to a documentary about night-life in Leeds. Directed by Brian Hill. In 2010, Armitage walked the 264 mile Pennine Way, walking South from Scotland to Derbyshire. Along the route he stopped to give poetry readings, often in exchange for donations of money, food or accommodation and is writing a book about his journey. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including The Sunday Times Author of the Year, a Forward Prize, a Lannan Award, and an Ivor Novello Award for his song lyrics in the Channel 4 film Feltham Sings. Kid and CloudCuckooLand were short-listed for the Whitbread poetry prize. The Dead Sea Poems was short-listed for the Whitbread, the Forward Poetry Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize. The Universal Home Doctor was also short-listed for the T.S. Eliot. In 2000, he was the UK's official Millennium Poet and went on to judge the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the 2010 Manchester Poetry Prize. In 2004, Armitage was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. He is a vice president of the Poetry Society and a patron of the Arvon Foundation.)

The Best Poem Of Simon Armitage

I Am Very Bothered

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.

Simon Armitage Comments

Keith Oldrey 12 December 2011

ee bygum lad, thats a proper poem that is even if I have to say to say to say it myself. Regards Keith Oldrey

104 176 Reply
Helen Hassett 09 February 2005

I like it very much and it touches certain grey areas in my background that have effected me.Appreciation of this poem to me is appearent.I love you, Marry Me.Love David x x x.

101 134 Reply
Jake Duquemin 08 October 2015

I don't think this poem is fit for the target audience, please remove

49 74 Reply
Jake Duquemin 08 October 2015

I am extremely thrilled to have spent my time in English lessons reading and inspecting your poem. Kappa. (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ¯\_(ツ) _/¯ (ง ͠° ل͜ °) ง

45 60 Reply
Charlee-mai Mckane 08 October 2015

a great poet! keep up the great work, i especially like 'a vision' simply magnificent!

34 59 Reply
Unknown706 29 January 2021

your auditorium i think it pretty boring

1 0 Reply
usman 14 February 2020

jacob is manipulative jacob is manipulative

3 3 Reply
yoyoyo 14 February 2020


2 5 Reply
YhYhYh 14 February 2020

Simon is my guy and he is sick i want to be just like him

4 3 Reply
hihihi 29 September 2019

poems are boring poems are boring poems are boring

7 19 Reply

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