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Simon Armitage explores and explains the themes, ideas, feelings and attitudes behind '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.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
9 March 2012

Classroom Ideas

Can be used to help students in exploring the use of form in poetry. Armitage is clear that he purposefully employed an 'architectural' form in the poem, to reflect the major themes he explores. Can students annotate the poem exploring examples of an architectural form or structure? What does this choice of form bring to the poem and how does it add to our understanding of Armitage's pre-occupations in the poem? Is the structure a force for good or is there something more uncomfortable implied by this structure? Students could add cuttings or sketches of buildings to border the text. Can they draw shapes around the stanzas to reflect architecture?

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