Poet: Simon Armitage

Information about the poet.

Works

Book:The Death of King Arthur: A New Verse Translation

The Death of King Arthur: A New Verse Translation

Simon Armitage

King Arthur comes to vivid life in this gripping poetic translation by the renowned poet and translator.

First appearing around 1400, The Alliterative Morte Arthure, or, The Death of King Arthur, is one of the most widely beloved and spectacularly alliterative poems ever penned in Middle English. Now, from the internationally acclaimed translator of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, comes this magisterial new presentation of the Arthurian tale, rendered in unflinching and gory detail. Following Arthur’s bloody conquests across the cities and fields of Europe, all the way to his spectacular and even bloodier fall, this masterpiece features some of the most spellbinding and poignant passages in English poetry. Never before have the deaths of Arthur’s loyal knights, his own final hours, and the subsequent burial been so poignantly evoked.

Echoing the lyrical passion that so distinguished Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf, Simon Armitage has produced a virtuosic new translation that promises to become both the literary event of the year and the definitive edition for generations to come.

Book:Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars

Simon Armitage

A thrilling new collection from the hugely acclaimed British poet Simon Armitage. With its vivid array of dramatic monologues, allegories, and tall tales, this absurdist, unreal exploration of modern society brings us a chorus of unique and unforgettable voices.

All are welcome at this twilit, visionary carnival: the man whose wife drapes a border-curtain across the middle of the marital home; the black bear with a dark secret; the woman who oversees giant snowballs in the freezer. “My girlfriend won me in a sealed auction but wouldn’t / tell me how much she bid,” begins one speaker; “I hadn’t meant to go grave robbing with Richard Dawkins / but he can be very persuasive,” another tells us. The storyteller behind this human tapestry has about him a sly undercover idealism: he shares with many of his characters a stargazing capacity for belief, or for being, at the very least, entirely “genuine in his disbelief.” In these startling poems, with their unique cartoon-strip energy and air of misrule, Armitage creates world after world, peculiar and always particular, where the only certainty is the unexpected.

Book:Tyrannosaurus Rex versus the Corduroy Kid

Tyrannosaurus Rex versus the Corduroy Kid

Simon Armitage

From one of the most important British poets at work today comes a brilliant new collection that meditates on human battles past and present, on youth and age, on monsters and underdogs, on the life of nations and the individual heart.

In Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid, we meet a writer who speaks naturally, and with frankness and restraint, for his culture. Armitage witnesses the pathos of women at work in the mock-Tudor Merrie England coffeehouses and gives us a backstage take on the world of Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger. He makes a gift to the reader of the sympathy and misery and grit buried in his nation’s collective consciousness: in the distant battle depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry and in the daily lives and petty crimes of ordinary people. In poems that are sometimes lyrical, sometimes brash and comic, and full of living voices, the extraordinary and the mythic grow out of the ordinary, and figures of diminishment and tragedy shine forth as mysterious, uncelebrated…[more]

Book:The Shout

The Shout: Selected Poems

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage is one of Britain’s most respected poets. He is considered Philip Larkin’s successor in both the easy brilliance of his verse and the national acclaim he has received. His subjects have ranged from yardwork to politics, from the fidelity of dogs to the negotiations of lovers. A selection of poetry that is wry, unpretentious, and constantly inventive, The Shout collects Armitage’s best work from the past three decades and includes many of his most recent poems.

Man with a Golf Ball Heart They set about him with a knife and fork, I heard,
and spooned it out. Dunlop, dimpled, perfectly hard.
It bounced on stone but not on softer ground-they made
a note of that. They slit the skin-a leathery,…[more]
Book:The Universal Home Doctor

The Universal Home Doctor

Simon Armitage

As the title implies, Simon Armitage’s flesh-and-blood account of numerous personal journeys reads like a private encyclopaedia of emotion and health. Vivid and engaged, the poems range from the rainforests of South America to the deserts of Western Australia, but are set against the ultimate and most intimate of all landscapes, the human body. Equally, the body politic comes into question, through subtle enquiries into Englishness and the idea of home.

Book:CloudCuckooLand

CloudCuckooLand

Simon Armitage

In 1996, Simon Armitage bought a powerful Russian telescope and began to inspect the night sky from his West Yorkshire home. The sequence of short poems in the middle of this book must have something to do with that new interest, each receiving its classical title from one of the constellations, while turning out to be less concerned with pure astronomy than with moments in the life of the poet’s mind. Celestial themes loom large elsewhere, with a number of what could be called religious poems towards the beginning of the book, and a play based on events around a total eclipse of the sun at the end. This dramatic tour de force was commissioned by the National Theatre, for performance by children, and confirmed Armitage as one of our true poetic experimenters—ceaselessly exploring and capable of making his stylistic advances without ever losing the confidence of his audience.

Book:The Dead Sea Poems

The Dead Sea Poems

Simon Armitage

A collection of poems in which questions of belief and trust, of identity and knowledge, mingle with more mundane considerations, such as the problems of owning a dog, and the vicissitudes of the job market. Simon Armitage was the 1993 “Sunday Times” Young Writer of the Year.

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