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Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars

Hardback

By (author) Simon Armitage

List price $20.35

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Hardback $21.71
  • Publisher: FABER & FABER
  • Format: Hardback | 88 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 234mm x 12mm | 239g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0571249906
  • ISBN 13: 9780571249909
  • Sales rank: 277,144

Product description

Simon Armitage's new collection is by turns a voice and a chorus: a hyper-vivid array of dramatic monologues, allegories, parables and tall tales. Here comes everybody: Snoobie and Carla, Lippincott, Wittmann, Yoshioka, Bambuck, Dr Amsterdam, Preminger. The man whose wife drapes a border-curtain across the middle of the marital home; the English astronaut with a terrestrial outlook on life; an orgiastic cast of unreconstructed pie-worshipers at a Northern sculpture farm; the soap-opera supremacists at their zoo-wedding; the driver who picks up hitchhikers as he hurtles towards a head-on collision with Thatcherism; a Christian cheese-shop proprietor in the wrong part of town; and, the black bear with a dark secret, the woman who curates giant snowballs in the chest freezer - celebrities and nobodies, all come to the ball. 'I am a sperm whale. I carry up to 2.5 tonnes of an oil-like balm in my huge, coffin shaped head. I have a brain the size of a basketball, and on that basis alone am entitled to my opinions. I am a sperm whale. When I breathe in, the fluid in my head cools to a dense wax and I nosedive into the depths. My song, available on audiocassette and compact disc is a comfort to divorcees, astrologists and those who have 'pitched the quavering canvas tent of their thoughts on the rim of the dark crater' - from "The Christening". The storyteller who steps in and out of this human tapestry changes, trickster-style, from poem to poem, but retains some identifying traits: the melancholy of the less deceived, crossed with an undercover idealism. And he shares with many of his characters a star-gazing capacity for belief, or for being 'genuine in his disbelief'. Language is on the loose in these poems, which cut and run across the parterre of poetic decorum with their cartoon-strip energies and air of misrule. Armitage creates world after world, peculiar yet always particular, where the only certainty is the unexpected.

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Author information

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire in 1963. In 1992 he was winner of one of the first Forward Prizes, and a year later was the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. He works as a freelance writer, broadcaster and playwright, and has written extensively for radio and television. Previous titles include Kid, Book of Matches, The Dead Sea Poems, CloudCuckooLand, Killing Time, The Universal Home Doctor, Homer's Odyssey and Tyrannosaurus Rex versus The Corduroy Kid. His acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was published in 2007.