Out of the Blue Paperback – 1 Feb 2008
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'...enlarging, expanding and wondrously affecting. As general reading this book is perfect - it does not teach, it provokes thought and response and so educates in the fullest sense of the word.' Chris Brown, School Librarian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Simon Armitage was born in 1963 in West Yorkshire and has published nine volumes of poetry. His awards include one of the first Forward prizes, the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year and a major Lannan Award. His most recent collections are Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid (Faber & Faber, 2006), which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and his translation of the classic Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Faber & Faber/Norton, 2007)He writes for radio, television and film, and is the author of four stage plays. His dramatisation of The Odyssey, commissioned by the BBC, received the Gold Award at the 2005 Spoken Word Awards. He has also received the Royal Television Society Arts Documentary Award. Simon Armitage has written over a dozen television films, and with director Brian Hill pioneered the docu-musical format. He received an Ivor Novello Award for his song-lyrics in the Channel 4 film Feltham Sings, which also won a BAFTA, and was the librettist for the opera The Assassin Tree, composed by Stuart McRae, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2006. He has published two novels as well as the best-selling memoir All Points North (Penguin, 1998), which was the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year. He is a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.
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Top customer reviews
Each of the thirteen `chapters' (if that is the right word) have a different pace, from the reflective first stanza, onto the calm early morning office; strangely both calm and energetic at the same time since the stanzas are short with a crisp observant image in each. Chapter five is really well observed, I feel like I am in the juddering building with them. This connection with real people developing real panic in the next couple of chapters is the most narrative part of the piece. It is laid out as a regular shaped poem except for chapter seven which looks like prose but is in fact one image after another packed so closely together it creates even more confusion and intensity. By chapter ten all that is left is an acceptance of fate and the telephoned goodbyes. Three more chapters develop the idea of clinging on to hope, returning to the idea that the god-like view taken at the start now makes you feel both monstrous and insignificant. Your rescuers are only ants from this height. This reflection on earlier images reminds the reader of the distance travelled to this point of `failing, flagging'.
The thirteenth and final chapter, which includes within it the first, (again in italics as if it was the preface to a novel), wraps the poem up in couplets and overlays it with a blanket of `what's. This is a long poem. I'm not sure how long the short film that accompanied it was but I can imagine that when the on screen imagery was combined with the poem it would have been very moving. For me this poem does what poems ought to do; put into words ideas that are difficult to articulate any other way, allowing an emotional connection with the images created to achieve a personalised level of understanding. I read this poem and was affected that way; blown away as the dust from the debris and the feeling that from that moment on `Everything changed. Nothing was safe.'
There are two other long poems in the book. Both excellent.
Armitage is really versatile.
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