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Simon Armitage sorts out the arguing of the birds in the poem he's translating with the help of Trinidadian-born judge Melanie Plimmer who joins him in the Poet Laureate's shed.

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale. Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes.

Simon has invited Trinidadian-born Judge Melanie Plimmer to help him sort out the owl and the nightingale who argue often in the poem. Their conversation ranges from the business of passing judgement and the skill of arbitration to Sundays spent on the beach in Trinidad and wearing the judge's wig. Simon also draws on his own experience of attending court as a working probation officer in his pre-poet life.

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40 minutes

Last on

Sat 27 Jun 2020 19:15

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  • Sat 27 Jun 2020 19:15

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