Poem of the Month

The Unthinkable | Simon Armitage

the unthinkable simon armitage poem of the month

A huge purple door washed up in the bay overnight,
its paintwork blistered and peeled from weeks at sea.
The town storyteller wasted no time in getting to work:
the beguiling, eldest girl of a proud, bankrupt farmer
had slammed that door in the face of a Freemason’s son,
who in turn had bulldozed both farm and family
over the cliff, except for the girl, who lived now
by the light and heat of a driftwood fire on a beach.

There was some plan to use the door as a jetty
or landing-stage, but it was all bullshit, the usual idle talk.
That’s when he left and never returned. Him I won’t name — 
not known for his big ideas or carpentry skills,
a famous non-swimmer, but last seen sailing out,
riding the current and rounding the point in a small boat
with tell-tale flashes of almost certainly purple paint.


– Simon Armitage, published in The Unaccompanied, 2017
world of books poem of the month simon armitage

The Voice of the Nation

On the 10th of May, Simon Armitage was announced as the new British Poet Laureate, succeeding Carol Ann Duffy. It was little surprise to most, given Armitage’s huge influence over the world of poetry during the last two decades. Noted not only for his poetry but for translation, novels, TV film writing and docu-dramas, Simon Armitage has carved himself into the history of culture while co-existing with the present. Because of this, Armitage’s ‘The Unthinkable’ has been chosen as the World of Book Poem of the Month.

A voice which trickles through the ears like rain down the Yorkshire Dales, Armitage uses a tone and contemporary language that’s both recognisable and comforting. With great dexterity, he explores subjects which are raw and poignant alongside the mundane and every-day. Satirical streaks and peculiar observations colour his writing, creating the magic we feel while reading an Armitage poem.

Indulge yourself in more of Armitage’s writings, check out some of our past poet laureates, or simply browse our impressive range of second-hand poetry books.

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What do you think of our new poet laureate? Do you like our Poem of the Month? Do you have a favourite Armitage poem? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 Comment

  • Reply June vidal June 3, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Very good. I like poetry.

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