Simon Armitage’s latest collection, Flit, celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The collection of 40 fully illustrated poems, written during Armitage’s time as poet in residence at the Park in 2017, redefines YSP as its own country, telling the story of its landscapes, sculptures and buildings through the eyes of an outsider in self-imposed exile.
An exhibition, featuring photographs featured in the book and a film of the poet reading on site, will be on display at YSP until June 10th. Further information on the exhibition and the collection can be found here.
A preview from Flit:
Hatches, Matches and Dispatches
A small bronze bell in the gallery roof
is somehow wired
to the city’s state-of-the-art maternity suite;
forged from recycled medals
each strike signals a birth,
and visitors coo and cluck
or pull handkerchiefs out of their bags
at the kiss of metal on metal.
A double chime indicates twins,
and the day the bell pealed for quintuplets
even Karl, the hard-nosed maintenance man,
got to his feet to applaud.
Also, whenever brides and grooms
tie the knot downtown
a light snow of confetti
falls from the gallery’s eaves,
and a flake plucked from the air
promises good luck. However,
a quick dimming of lights
confirms a new guest has arrived
in the city morgue, upon which
a respectful hush sets in
then dissolves. The tourists roll up,
but such jingling and sprinkling and blinking
disturbs the resident poet,
stalking the halls with his special pen,
attempting to scribble
his little ditties of life and love and death.