Those Bastards In Their Mansions by Simon Armitage

Photo source: Udo Schroter on Flickr

Those Bastards In Their Mansions by Simon Armitage

Those bastards in their mansions:

to hear them shriek, you’d think

I’d poisoned the dogs and vaulted the ditches,

crossed the lawns in stocking feet and threadbare britches,

forced the door of one of the porches, and lifted

the gift of fire from the burning torches,

(Photo source)

then given heat and light to streets and houses,

told the people how to ditch their cuffs and shackles,

armed them with the iron from their wrists and ankles.

Photo source

Those lords and ladies in their palaces and castles,

they’d have me sniffed out by their beagles,

picked at by their eagles, pinned down, grilled

beneath the sun,


Me, I stick to the shadows, carry a gun.

About Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage was born in Huddersfield, a large town in West Yorkshire, England, on May 26, 1963. His first poetry collection, Zoom! (1989), earned him a place among the new generation of poets with its fresh mix of street smarts, stand-up comedy, pub talk, and serious social critique. Armitage would continue to make good use of his years in social work in later collections. His poetry examines contemporary characters and scenes with the eye of a social historian and often climaxes in seriocomic moments, as in “Poem,” one of his most famous pieces: “And every week he tipped up half his wage / And what he didn’t spend each week he saved. / And praised his wife for every meal she made. / And once, for laughing, punched her in the face.” As with many of his peers, he adapts more traditional rhythms and forms to his subject, largely eschewing formal experimentation.

In addition to his poetry, Armitage is known for his plays, television work, and prose.Recently, he has published two novels, Little Green Man in 2001 and The White Stuff in 2004, that explore the darker side of thirtysomething life in the United Kingdom. (Encyclopedia of British Writers, 1800 to the Present, Second Edition.)

Read more about him on his website.


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