Image for Simon Armitage, Writing PoemsNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 30 minutes

Over the course of six short films, Simon Armitage goes behind the scenes of some of his most famous poems to help viewers understand and visualise the building blocks that create them. Each film gives a glimpse into the making of Simon Armitage's poems with emphasis on key assessment areas, while raising provocative questions along the way.

Last on

Fri 21 Mar 2014 04:30 BBC Two

  • Simon Armitage - Harmonium

    Simon Armitage - Harmonium

    Simon Armitage explores and explains the themes, ideas, feelings and attitudes behind his poem Harmonium, and considers the language, structure and form of the poem linked to its central ideas. His reading of the poem is combined with shots and views of Marsden, Armitage’s home town and the ‘location’ for Harmonium, alongside an explanation and analysis of some key words and phrases, illustrated with a series of visual images designed to aid a deeper appreciation of the symbolism inherent in the poem.

  • Simon Armitage - The Manhunt

    Simon Armitage - The Manhunt

    Simon Armitage explores and explains the themes, ideas, feelings and attitudes behind his poem The Manhunt, and considers the language, structure and form of the poem linked to its central ideas. A reading of the poem is accompanied by a series of shots and visual images to illustrate the meanings, including documentary footage from current and past conflicts. Armitage examines the use of metaphor and structural devices he uses to explore the effects of conflict from personal rather than societal / historical perspectives.

  • Simon Armitage - A Vision

    Simon Armitage - A Vision

    Simon Armitage explores and explains the themes, ideas, feelings and attitudes behind his poem A Vision, and considers the language, structure and form of the poem linked to its central ideas. He demonstrates the original stimulus for the poem with a visit to the town planning department, demonstrating the effect that this visit had on his imagination as a child. This is then contextualised with shots of a landfill site, used to demonstrate the theme of how the passing of time affects our sense of optimism for the future. His reading of the poem is combined with an explanation and analysis of some key words and phrases, illustrated with a series of visual images.

  • Simon Armitage - The Clown Punk

    Simon Armitage - The Clown Punk

    Simon Armitage explores and explains the themes, ideas, feelings and attitudes behind his poem The Clown Punk, and considers the language, structure and form of the poem linked to its central ideas. His reading of the poem is combined with visual images and documentary footage of the punk era, alongside an explanation and analysis of some key words and phrases. He considers the ways the poem can be interpreted as an exploration of the effects of the passage of time.

  • Simon Armitage - Give

    Simon Armitage - Give

    Simon Armitage explores the ways in which a poem can have both surface and deeper meanings. His reading of his poem Give is combined with images of homelessness in Manchester as well as an interview with a person who has experienced homelessness, describing how it feels to be an outsider in modern society. Armitage then explores possible deeper meanings behind the surface, linking analysis of language and structure to alternative ways of interpreting the poem.

  • Simon Armitage - Out of the Blue

    Simon Armitage - Out of the Blue

    Simon Armitage explores his rationale for his poem Out of the Blue. Analysis of the structure and language of the poem is combined with documentary footage from 9/11, with a particular focus on one image from this footage that Armitage explains was the original stimulus for the poem.

  • Learning Zone Class Clips: Simon Armitage - 'Gig'

    Learning Zone Class Clips: Simon Armitage - 'Gig'

    Watch cultural commentator Mark Kermode interview Simon Armitage about his book 'Gig'. Armitage discusses his musical inspirations behind his book as well as general issues such as old age and his career. Footage from a reading by Armitage is included, as is the debut performance by his band.

    Watch Simon Armitage talk about his book, Gig
  • Learning Zone Class Clips: Simon Armitage Interview

    Learning Zone Class Clips: Simon Armitage Interview

    Watch this extract from an interview conducted by fellow poet Sean O'Brien where Simon Armitage talks about his attitude to poetry, and his answer to the question "what is poetry for?"

    Watch an interview with Simon Armitage on Class Clips
  • GCSE Bitesize: Simon Armitage

    GCSE Bitesize: Simon Armitage

    Visit the Bitesize website for this secondary school revision resource for GCSE English Literature about the context, language and ideas in Simon Armitage's poems.

    Visit the GCSE Bitesize: Simon Armitage website
  • GCSE Bitesize: AQA Poetry - Character and voice

    GCSE Bitesize: AQA Poetry - Character and voice

    Visit the Bitesize website for this secondary school revision resource for GCSE English Literature about poems on the theme of 'Character and Voice'. The resource features Simon Armitage's poem The Clown Punk.

    Visit the GCSE Bitesize: Poetry - Character and Voice website
  • GCSE Bitesize: AQA Poetry - Place

    GCSE Bitesize: AQA Poetry - Place

    Visit the Bitesize website for this secondary school revision resource for GCSE English Literature about poems on the theme of 'Place'. The resource features Simon Armitage's poem A Vision.

    Visit the GCSE Bitesize: Poetry - Place website
  • GCSE Bitesize: AQA Poetry - Relationships

    GCSE Bitesize: AQA Poetry - Relationships

    Visit the Bitesize website for this secondary school revision resource for GCSE English Literature about poems on the theme of 'Relationships'. The resource features Simon Armitage's poem The Manhunt.

    Visit the GCSE Bitesize: AQA Poetry - Relationships website
  • BBC Two The Culture Show: Music's best-kept secret

    BBC Two The Culture Show: Music's best-kept secret

    Watch Simon Armitage and Mark Kermode as they bond over their memories of a little-known band that they both love.

    Watch Simon Armitage on The Culture Show
  • BBC Radio 3: Free Thought - Simon Armitage

    BBC Radio 3: Free Thought - Simon Armitage

    Listen to Simon Armitage read his poem Old Boy, about growing old and being left behind.

    Listen to Simon Armitage read his poem Old Boy
  • BBC Radio 4: Poetry Please

    BBC Radio 4: Poetry Please

    Listen as Roger McGough presents a weekly selection of favourite poetry requested by listeners.

    Listen to Poetry Please from BBC Radio 4
  • BBC News: Poetry carved into Yorkshire Moors

    BBC News: Poetry carved into Yorkshire Moors

    Watch as poet Simon Armitage and stonemason Pip Hall talk about the Stanza Stones project to bring poetry to the Yorkshire Moors.

    Watch Poetry carved into Yorkshire Moors from BBC News
  • BBC Radio 4: Today - TS Eliot Prize: Simon Armitage

    BBC Radio 4: Today - TS Eliot Prize: Simon Armitage

    Listen to nominated poet Simon Armitage read two of his poems, The English Astronaut and Knowing What We Know Now.

    Listen to Simon Armitage on BBC Radio 4: Today
  • BBC Two Newsnight: Poet Simon Armitage turns troubadour

    BBC Two Newsnight: Poet Simon Armitage turns troubadour

    Simon Armitage walked the Pennine Way in the style of the old troubadours. He started with no money and instead staged nightly poetry readings en route in return for donations, accommodation and food. Watch as he speaks to Kirsty Wark about whether poetry pays in the 21st Century. From 27 July 2010.

    Watch Simon Armitage on BBC Two's Newsnight
  • The Poetry Archive: Simon Armitage

    The Poetry Archive: Simon Armitage

    Visit Simon Armitage's page on The Poetry Archive for biography, interviews, recordings of his work and much more.

    Visit The Poetry Archive: Simon Armitage website
  • The Guardian: Simon Armitage: 'poetry is a form of dissent' - video interview

    The Guardian: Simon Armitage: 'poetry is a form of dissent' - video interview

    Watch as Simon Armitage talks to John Harris about the obstinate nature of poetry and the culture of violence in Britain that he believes precipitated the UK riots. From 7 November 2011.

    Watch Simon Armitage on The Guadian's National Conversations series of interviews
  • The Telegraph: Simon Armitage

    The Telegraph: Simon Armitage

    Listen as Simon Armitage reads poems from his collection Seeing Stars, recorded at the Southbank Centre on Sunday 23rd January 2011 at the TS Eliot Prize Readings.

    Listen as Simon Armitage reads poems from Seeing Stars
  • AQA Anthology Zone: Simon Armitage

    AQA Anthology Zone: Simon Armitage

    This interactive Anthology is a key resource to help teachers and students engage with English Literature using technology to enhance learning.

    Visit the Simon Armitage AQA Anthology Zone

Credits

Presenter
Simon Armitage
Producer
Sarah Ager
Director
Sarah Ager
Producer
Kemi Majekodunmi
Director
Kemi Majekodunmi
Executive Producer
Jonty Claypole
Executive Producer
Katy Jones

Broadcasts

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