Monday, February 15, 2010


Still working my way through Simon Armitage's first book Zoom! and discovering other passages that have to do with evidence in one way or another (as in my previous posts on "Snow Joke", "On Miles Platting Station", and "All We Can Do"). In "Greenhouse," the speaker recalls building a greenhouse with his father and later watching for him to come home after a night out and go out to check the greenhouse:

I'd wait, straining for the sound of the hasp
or guessing your distance by the sparkle
of a cufflink.

Again, it's a matter of evidence, of both perceiving something and distinguishing it from something else. And beyond that, there's the beautiful line break "sparkle / of a cufflink," the move from general to specific, and in this case, to a very surprising specificity.

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