The back of the Innisfree Pavillion

I taught Simon Armitage to 15 year olds for 4 years as an English teacher. I fell in love with his work and this is meant as a kind of tribute. Listen to him read one of his best poems here. The scorecard is of his greatest innings, a match winning performance from Season 2.

The back of the Innisfree Pavillion

To the back of the Innisfree Pavillion,
past Tennyson and Browning setting
their footwork to iambic pentameter,
Simon Armitage is pre-visualising
how he will play his innings. He says,
“This is it. This is the big one. The epic.
The thousand line commission. The
Arthurian legend. The Greek translation.
The troubadour walk to a century.
I am Ulysses.
I am Sir Gawain.
I am the Yorkshire Dales.
I am Geoffrey Boycott.
I am Geoffrey Boycott.
I am Geoffrey Boycott.

Ted Hughes interrupts his flow. He says,
“Armitage! Listen here. If it helps you
get a fifty you can be anyone you like,
but let me make one thing quite clear.
I, and only I, am Geoffrey Boycott.”

© Simon Travers, 2014.

ib vs tgc s2 m21001.jpg

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