Tuesday Poem – by Simon Armitage

Eridanus

The breakthrough came with the rainbow I made when I drove that stolen Talbot Sunbeam quickly through the village ford.

from CloudCuckooLand, Faber and Faber Ltd 1997

more Tuesday Poems here

6 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – by Simon Armitage

  1. I really like Simon’s stuff. My favourite is one called ‘Very Gently Topping up the Brake Fluid’ – it’s such a wonderful demonstration of invisible technique. He’s also recently (I’m told) done some Greek translations, but I haven’t seen them yet.

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  2. I love the way the title stays with you. Eridanus is this very long, meandering constellation. It’s been described as ‘river of stars.’ Would a NZ editor publish this poem I wonder? How does the poem sit with the title?

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  3. Good question! It’s so short but so perfect in detail. I love the way the rainbow is created by the “Sunbeam” and the fact that it’s stolen. Apparently (according to wikipedia!) the constellation is connected to the myth of Phaëton, who stole his father Helios’ sky chariot (i.e., the Sun), and lost control, creating the fiery path of the constellation in his wake! The poem is from a series called The Whole of the Sky, which I highly recommend 🙂

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  4. Wow. That’s so short! I don’t think I’ve read much of his work, but I like this, so that’s a good sign. I had a moment of ‘is that a poem?’ when I first read it, but it contains so much in that short sentence. And then the connection with the myth gives it even more – though you don’t need to know that – there’s already a whole story going on in there.

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