A poem to read in the bath… ‘The Unthinkable’

This poem grabbed me from the first line. It has action, it has colour, it has place. I could see the purple door, I could see the beach. And I wanted to write my own story about it. This is ‘The Unthinkable’ by Simon Armitage [below], included in his latest anthology The Unaccompanied. Simon Armitage

Here is the first stanza of The Unthinkable. Because of copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce the poem in full, but please search it out in an anthology or at your local library.

A huge purple door washed up in the bay overnight,
its paintwork blistered and peeled from weeks at sea.
The town storyteller wasted no time in getting to work:
the beguiling, eldest girl of a proud, bankrupt farmer
had slammed that door in the face of a Freemason’s son,
who in turn had bulldozed both farm and family
over the cliff, except for the girl, who lived now
by the light and heat of a driftwood fire on a beach.’
Source: Poetry (May 2013)

Simon Armitage


‘The Unaccompanied’ by Simon Armitage [UK: Faber]

Read these other excerpts, and perhaps find a new poet to love:-
‘Digging’ by Seamus Heaney
‘Alone’ by Dea Parkin
‘A thousand years, you said’ by Lady Heguri

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘The Unthinkable’ by Simon Armitage https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3ek via @SandraDanby

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