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,
rubbery, eyelid thing-and further in, three miles
of gut or string, elastic. Inside that, a pouch
or sac of pearl-white balm or gloss, like Copydex.
It weighed in at the low end of the litmus test
but wouldn't burn, and tasted bitter, bad, resin
perhaps from a tree or plant. And it gave off gas
that caused them all to weep when they inspected it.
That heart had been an apple once, they reckoned. Green.
They had a scheme to plant an apple there again
beginning with a pip, but he rejected it.
About Simon Armitage
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Published April 4, 2005
Literature & Fiction.