Tuesday 25th October 2016                 Change text size:

#NationalPoetryDay: Last Snowman by Simon Armitage

Snowman via Flickr Glasseyes View

In May, The Guardian presented a series of 20 original poems by various authors on the theme of climate change curated by the UK’s poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. On National Poetry Day, this is our favourite.



He drifted south
down an Arctic seaway
on a plinth of ice, jelly tots

weeping lime green tears
around both eyes,
a carrot for a nose

(some reported parsnip),
below which a clay pipe
drooped from a mouth

that was pure stroke-victim.
A red woollen scarf trailed
in the meltwater drool

at his base, and he slumped
to starboard, kinked,
gone at the pelvis.

From the buffet deck
of a passing cruise liner
stag and hen parties shied

Scotch eggs and Pink Ladies
as he rounded the stern.
He sailed on between banks

of camera lenses
and rubberneckers,
past islands vigorous

with sunflower and bog myrtle
into a bloodshot west,
singular and abominable.

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