Simon Armitage photograph:
Gareth Phillips for the Guardian
I’ve just been listening to the new Oxford Professor of Poetry, Simon Armitage, reading from his book Walking Away on BBC Radio4 Extra.
As my regular followers will have gathered, I am a devotee of poetry that makes sense, that tells it how it is, without excess of metaphor or flowery language. Simon’s words are the epitome of realism and spare writing.
I was carried with the poet along the coast of Cornwall, to the Scilly Isles to the end of England. I laughed and sympathised with his feet suffering the pains of worn-out boots,
and the idiocy of some of the questions at his readings: “Do you write your own poetry?
I couldn’t work out from the broadcast whether the work was prose poetry or poetic prose, which tells me that it was very good writing. I wanted more, so I ordered the book from the big river…the first few lines grabbed me by the short and curlies -“I have bought a hat. And I have made a stick….”
I’ll tell you more when I’ve read it all!