For some background on Simon Armitage, look at the Context section of Homecoming
Listen to the poem and watch the slideshow
Batman, big shot, when you gave the orderto grow up, then let me loose to wanderleeward, freely through the wild blue yonderas you liked to say, or ditched me, rather,in the gutter ... well, I turned the corner.Now I've scotched that 'he was like a fatherto me' rumour, sacked it, blown the coveron that 'he was like an elder brother'story, let the cat out on that caperwith the married woman, how you took herdowntown on expenses in the motor.Holy robin-redbreast-nest-egg-shocker!Holy roll-me-over-in the-clover,I'm not playing ball boy any longerBatman, now I've doffed that off-the-shoulderSherwood-Forest-green and scarlet numberfor a pair of jeans and crew-neck jumper;now I'm taller, harder, stronger, older.Batman, it makes a marvellous picture:you without a shadow, stewing overchicken giblets in the pressure cooker,next to nothing in the walk-in larder,punching the palm of your hand all winter,you baby, now I'm the real boy wonder.
The poem is a dramatic monologue [monologue: An extended speech performed by one person only ] by Robin the Boy Wonder, the loyal sidekick to Batman in the comic strips, television programmes and films. Robin talks about how he has separated from Batman and is learning to lead his own, independent life. In the process he publicises some of Batman's secrets so that we see the 'superhero' in a new light. Robin ends up stronger and more mature. The poem is often humorous but has a serious message too.
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