An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

By Simon Armitage b. 1963 Simon Armitage
Compiling this landmark anthology of poetry in English
about dogs and musical instruments is like swimming through bricks.
To date, I have only, “On the Death of Mrs. McTuesday’s Pug,
Killed by a Falling Piano,” a somewhat obvious choice.
True, an Aeolian harp whispers alluringly
in the background of the anonymous sonnet, “The Huntsman’s
      Hound,”
but beyond that — silence.

I should resist this degrading donkey-work in favor of my own
      writing,
wherein contentment surely lies.
But A. Smith stares smugly from the reverse of the twenty pound
      note,
and when my bank manager guffaws,
small particles of saliva stream like a meteor shower
through the infinity of dark space
between his world and mine.

Source: Poetry (May 2013).

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2013

Biography

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire, England in 1963. He earned a BA from Portsmouth University in geography, and an MS in social work from Manchester University, where he studied the impact of televised violence on young offenders. He worked as a probation officer for six years before focusing on poetry.

Known for his deadpan delivery, Armitage’s formally assured, often darkly comic poetry is influenced by the work of

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Poems by Simon Armitage

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, Class, Money & Economics

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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