Monday, 7 March 2011

You'd be crazy not to!

Ramblings - Series 17 - Episode 5

Stuart Maconie takes in the Manchester skyline with the poet Simon Armitage on his home turf, the borderlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire near to the village of Marsden. They walk part of the Pennine Way from Standedge Cutting towards White Hill, taking in views of Manchester as they go.

Make a posting when you've heard it.
Just a short reaction.


  1. He acts surprised that such an isolated community can receive an audience by the use of poetry... he explains he was isolated as a teenager and used to wander up the fields, for thinking time to write his poems; in my opinion, he writes these poems for an audience, but to relate to himself as well... as a source of company to relieve his complete isolation.

  2. Born 26th May 1963,in huddersfield West Yorkshire,Simon Armitage describes the area in which he was born and brought up in (between Yorkshire and Lancashire) as "The Badlands" this hence implying a meaning of or connoting an eroded barren land(no mans land/restricted/isolated area),which doesn't seem as an appropriate area for a well renowned poet,seeing as though he is said to a "Renaisance man" meaning an intellect with broad interests and comprehensive knowledge to be living in.With this being said,I believe that Simon Armitage was greatly affected by living in this so called "Badlands",as one of the remarks made by him during the interview was "I always thought that I was an odd kid" therefore building an in depth understanding as to why Armitage was so lonely,his cries for companionship and explaing his constant seclution from his family and the world as a teenager.Furthermore,by him concealing himself away from everyone and everything;we then understand how and where he comes up with the basis for his poems,the themes and ideas and how he developed the path in which he decided to follow of becoming a poet.The following qoutations fully express my opinion stated earlier as to why Armitage was always in a state of isolation and how and where he gains his themes for his accredited poems."I use to sit on top of these pure hills and dream about becoming a poet","Dozens of my poems are based on the moores, these are my page that I write on and write with","I am currently writing a poem about stones" and finally "The solitude of my walks builds into the rhythm and music of my poetry".

  3. There are some that choose poetry; and others get chosen by it. From the age of 14/15 years-old, Simon Armitage had already become a reading addict. Though in his defence, he proceeds to argue that once you ‘spend enough time reading’; becoming a ‘writer’ then gets imprinted into your mind.
    He had made use of a personal ‘hill’, which became a ‘totemic place’ for him as he dreamt of becoming a poet. This connots to the 'hill' being his rite of passage, the one that rought him from childhood into manhood; his tomem, his guardian spirit. It’s like he explains: 'one raindrop falling one way will end up in the North Sea and another raindrop falling just inch to the left will end up in the Irish Sea'. I would be tempted to presume that this is an extended metaphor in itself; denoting his entire life within a sentence.
    His ambition was to be a writer, though the decision between poetry and literature had always stood before him. But an inch in the wrong direction and he today wouldn’t be the same. He was to be ‘carved and sculpted by the wind’, by what he felt and saw... All around him were ‘subdivisions’ of his writing; his landscape – the Moore - his page and pen, was to influence what he wrote (even up to this date he still goes for walks when needing to be inspired).

  4. Well, I was waiting for the picture to start moving until I seen it was under the 'Radio' tab.

    Landscape inspires dozens of his poems.

    He would be too scared to camp in the Pennines

  5. His poetry is greatly inspired by landscape; he describes the moores as his 'page', and says it is 'what he writes on' and 'what he writes with'.
    He describes walking as a 'process' rather than a 'product'. I feel that this could also relate to his poetry in the way that he does it because of the enjoyment he gets from it, rather than because of the 'product' he gets at the end of it, i.e. a poem.