Kid Hardcover – 6 May 2010
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Amongst the most successful and widely read of younger English poets, in this reissue of his 1992 book Kid demonstrates the easy appeal of Simon Armitage's verse: his ability to mimic the quotidian voices of "real life", his acts of social ventriloquism which imply a literary version of verbal democracy. As a result, Armitage often seems content to coolly observe, reserving a judgement that the poem's form is left to provide: the sonnet "Poem" (the very title implying neutrality), detailing a man's casual brutalities, ends with "Here's how they rated him when they looked back: / sometimes he did this, sometimes he did that." The forensic quality of texts such as these (see the list of a dead man's belongings in "About His Person") resemble news reports from the forgotten of Modern Britain, charting their particular mutant strains of violence, despair and illegality. Occasionally, poems move through such closely observed detail towards a sudden symbolic or metaphoric turn--a sudden crystallisation of insight. Armitage though seems wary of such structures: one or two poems play explicitly with the urge for poetic meaning and poke fun at the simple coalescences of metaphoric elision--"Eighteen Plays on Golfing as a Watchword" parodies Wallace Stevens in its jokey round of golfing metaphors ("The flag and the green / from this elevation; / a heron in its pool / of stagnant water.")--as if Armitage doesn't want anything to interrupt the directness of his more serious verse, as if the obviously poetic would only curdle his intent. Part of the "New Gen" of British poets and a major player in the British poetry scene, Armitage's is a voice of importance. --Burhan Tufail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Kid by Simon Armitage is one of six wonderful collections published in celebration of Faber's rich poetry heritage.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
'Kid' was the first Simon Armitage book I ever bought. Now I have every book he has ever written...'Kid' must be something special to encourage me to read on, and to become such a lover of him and his work...
This book must surely be all the evidence we need that Simon is one of the very top writers in the world at the moment. He is unafraid to tackle issues that other poets would run from. His varied life experiences have taught him much, and his sharp mind and creative talent have allowed him to express himself in a "firework display" of outstanding literature.
When you buy the book, please pay particular attention to one poem - 'About His Person', which is the poem the book ends on. This poem is one of the best I have come across in my life. It makes you think. It makes connections. It makes you ASK QUESTIONS. And these are the reasons why Simon writes poetry. 'About His Person' is a fine example of his wily, poetic techniques. Give it time, do it justice, and I guarantee you will be back, hungry for more of Simon's work....