introducing readers to writers since 1995

April 28, 2005

"Poem," Simon Armitage

by Ron Hogan
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.

And every week he tipped up half his wage.
And what he didn't spend each week he saved.
And praised his wife for every meal she made.
And once, for lauhging, punched her in the face.

And for his mum he hired private nurse.
And every Sunday taxied her to church.
And he blubbed when she went from bad to worse.
And twice he lifted ten quid from her purse.

Here's how they rated him when they looked back:
sometimes he did this, sometimes he did that.

From The Shout: Selected Poems. "Poem" certainly feels like a parody of Auden's "The Unknown Citizen," doesn't it? Or maybe the latter poem was just drilled a little too hard into my brain back in high school. Anyway, this is the first collection of Armitage's poems to appear in the United States. Here's "It Ain't What You Do, It's What It Does to You," which isn't in the collection.

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