Yorkshire Poets Society

Simon Armitage CBE
Will a Yorkshire man be the next Poet Laureate to follow in the path of another great Yorkshire poet Ted Hughes (1984-98). Simon Armitage a joint favourite was born in 1963 in the village of Marsden and lives in West Yorkshire. He has published several volumes of poetry with Faber & Faber including Killing Time, and Selected Poems, and Book of Matches His latest collection of poems was Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid.

Not just yet it seems but Armitage was recently  elected Oxford Professor of Poetry, succeeding Geoffrey Hill. In future it may be possible for The Barnsley Bard’ Ian McMillan to be considered as Poet Laureate but probably not whilst the current monarch is in place.

Book Cover

Ian McMillan


Every day you need your breakfast
And Every day you need a rhyme
Start the morning with a cuppa
And Every morning’s poem time!

Poetry’s essential, just like porridge:
Poems will make you smile, not curse
So I say start every morning
With a fine Full English Break-verse!

© Ian McMillan, The Chris Evans Breakfast Show

Ian’s life story so far, as he says is covered in ‘Talking Myself Home’ ‘The life story of John and Olive’s son, the Bard of Barnsley, from Low Valley Junior School and Wath Grammar School to Oscar the Frog (Barnsley’s first folk-rock band) and Jaws ( Barnsley ’s first folk-poetry duo) and beyond. Ian’s birthplace an unregarded place Darfield, near Barnsley , a place mentioned in the Domesday book and now trying to reinvent itself after the wholesale closure of the mining industry.’

Ted Hughes from Poet Seers.org

The Seven Sorrows

The first sorrow of autumn
Is the slow goodbye
Of the garden who stands so long in the evening-
A brown poppy head,
The stalk of a lily,
And still cannot go.

The second sorrow
Is the empty feet
Of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers.
The woodland of gold
Is folded in feathers
With its head in a bag.

And the third sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers
The minutes of evening,
The golden and holy
Ground of the picture.

The fourth sorrow
Is the pond gone black
Ruined and sunken the city of water-
The beetle’s palace,
The catacombs
Of the dragonfly.

And the fifth sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp.
One day it’s gone.
It has only left litter-
Firewood, tentpoles.

And the sixth sorrow
Is the fox’s sorrow
The joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds,
The hooves that pound
Till earth closes her ear
To the fox’s prayer.

And the seventh sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window
As the year packs up
Like a tatty fairground
That came for the children.

— Ted Hughes

© Ian McMillan
On the first day of Yorkshire Christmas my true love gave to me
A tinsel muffler to put round me tree
On the second
2 racing pigeons
3 nippy whippets
4 flat caps
5 Dickie Birds
6 Grandmas grumbling
7 Grandads snoring
8 Banghra Dancers
9 parkin makers
10 Bowls full of Yorkshire pudding batter
11. Football teams struggling in the lower divisions
12 Michael Parkinson Blow Up Dolls

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