Gawain Matters

Simon Armitage

It is almost fifty years ago that I first gained some acquaintance with the wonderful 14th century poem called ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’. Since that time I have grown to love and respect its wonderful wit and craftsmanship more deeply.

Continue reading

Why did the Chair of The Poetry Society cheat?

Why did the Chair of The Poetry Society cheat?

It was in 2004 that I took a more active interest in The Poetry Society of which I had been a member for some years. It had long seemed to me that most of the new pieces that were published as ‘poetry’ in the Society’s quarterly Newsletter and in its magazine Poetry Review were not truly poetry at all.

Continue reading

How mad was Ted Hughes?

How mad was Ted Hughes?

I ask the question because I found the process of learning a poem of his for the purpose of recitation somewhat maddening. I am used to memorising poetry. the better to perform it;  and sometimes I can master a poem in a day, but it took me months to memorise ‘The Hawk in the Rain’, the title poem of Ted Hughes’

Continue reading