Apr 2, 2008

The prose of Simon Armitage

I don't know what Simon Armitage writes under the "Occupation" column, but most bios call him a poet. It is therefore ironic that I have hardly read any of his poetry, but have read two books of prose and have heard an adaptation of the Odyssey for the BBC.

Book one was "All Points North": non fiction and personal, rendering life in Northern England (Yorkshire, to be very specific, for they are finicky about these distinctions there, right?) in all its dry humour. This is the England of Boycott and Bird, of the Beiderbecke TV series, of James Herriot and Yorkshire Terriers. I picked it up on a whim and breezed through the tales of Armitage and family, road trips and travelling amateur troupes, of life normal and strange. It also features some samples of Armitage's poems, which I was impressed by.

Book two was "The White Stuff": fiction and funny. The Fentons want to have a child desperately, but can't. Felix (no doubt chiseled from Armitage's social worker life) discovers his wife's true origins. Their neighbour tests fireworks for a living and is occasionally thrown out of his house by his wife. As the story winds towards a conclusion, there's a lot of sadness, a little happiness, loads of wit and wisdom, some clever plotlines, and a very engaging read.

It's time to go find all that poetry he must have written if everyone keeps calling him a poet.

Link to Simon Armitage's website.


Anonymous said...

Many thanks for that wonderful post..!! And also for the article about introverts. It gave me several "aha" moments as well.. :-)
I always have experienced the similar averseness you mentioned while making calls or speaking to people. And to know that you are not alone is simply amazing..!! Read some of your other posts too and found them very interesting. Keep it up...!!

Unknown said...

anon: thanks for reading the posts. please do keep dropping by.