Fiction · Poetry

Paper Aeroplane: Selected Poems 1989-2014 by Simon Armitage

What is it about?

Paper Aeroplane is a collection of 102 of Simon Armitage’s favourite poems by Simon Armitage. Spanning 25 years and 22 different works, this is effectively a Now That’s What I Call Simon Armitage! compilation showcasing the poet’s best work – some of which you’ve almost definitely come across before (especially if you were an English student taking their GCSEs in recent years). This look back at Armitage’s work so far not only gives the reader a wealth of poems – you get a lot of bang for your buck – but it also gives you an insight into the poet’s development over the past quarter of a century.

Is it any good?

I’m not going to lie to you – I did not read this book by choice. It was a book thrust upon me by the great hands of fate; by which I mean it was required reading for my uni course. I can just tell that this is a book that I’m going to reread every couple of years, perhaps in times of crisis or when I need to be reminded of how good the world can be. Armitage paints the world in metaphors and imagery fantastic and intense enough to make you weep. A fair few of these poems made me stop and go ‘wow, this is clever’ – because they are. The best thing about it though is that this is poetry without pretension; you do not have to love poetry to love poetry done by Simon Armitage. My personal favourites from this collection are Poundland, The Spelling,  About His Person, I Say I Say I Say and ‘Meanwhile, somewhere in the state of Colorado’.

Rating: 10/10

How long did it take to read: two days

For fans of: The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy, free verse poetry, amazing metaphors, Twenty One Pilots

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