Sunday, 7 June 2015

June Weekend - Simon Armitage

Poetry today has many forms and styles, not always connected with the generation of the practitioner, though Simon Armitage is often described in words and sentiments similar to those employed by Melvyn Bragg in his New Statesman review of the recently-published Paper Aeroplane: Selected Poems 1989 - 2014 - "...he has established himself as the poet of his generation". Although most of us on Saturday evening in the West Lane Baptist Centre, Haworth's best and only intimate theatre space, could have been said to be of another generation, possibly that of Sir Geoffrey Hill at the other end of some kind of poetry spectrum, Armitage charmed, entertained and moved us with enormous success. He was accessible, utterly intelligible and above all funny. He must be the poet of our generation as well.

He introduced his new memoir Walking Away, revisited poems written a couple of decades ago, spoke about the differences between walking the Pennine Way, where mists can be a menace and where you need to carry a good map, and the coastal walk from Minehead to the tip of Cornwall, where you do not get lost unless you turn sharply to the right, about the town of Marsden, where he was brought up, his father, and about inspiration. We got it. We laughed. We loved him.

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