Broadcaster: BBC 2
Year: 2013
Genre: Documentary
URL: http://bobnational.net/record/200844

Review by Lisa Smalley

This is the first of six short films, which discusses the inspiration and personal history behind some of the poet’s best known work.  In reviewing each piece, the audience is helped to understand the language and techniques used to create them.

The six poems discussed in this film are:

  • ‘Harmonium’
  • ‘The Manhunt’
  • ‘A Vision’
  • ‘The Clown Punk’
  • ‘Give’
  • ‘Out of the Blue’.

Some technical terminology is used, but this should pose no problems for students of EN1010 and EN1025.  Not only does it give an insight into the thought process of writing a poem, but also highlights some considerations that can be applied to close readings.

Armitage treats the viewers to some personal readings of his work, and discusses the choice of perspectives and how this has created the overall tone he desired.  Particular word use and language is highlighted and explained in relation to structure, which is also discussed.  Armitage highlights his use of the term ‘the neon line’ and how it can reinforce the theme of a poem.

This film is brief and a good starting point for those who have limited history in studying poetry.  However, fans of Simon Armitage will enjoy his diverse choice of work and the insight they are allowed into the history and background of this truly talented poet.

Tags: Simon Armitage, poetry, writing poems, writing poetry, EN1010, EN1025, ‘Out of the Blue’, ‘Give’, ‘The Clown Punk’, ‘A Vision’, ‘The Manhunt’, ‘Harmonium’, English Literature, Poetry.