The Unthinkable

By Simon Armitage b. 1963 Simon Armitage
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.



Source: Poetry (May 2013).

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

May 2013
 Simon  Armitage

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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Activities, Arts & Sciences, Travels & Journeys, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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