#PoetryPromise August: Let me put it this way by Simon Armitage

#PoetryPromise is coordinated through Poetry by Heart with the aim of promoting and spreading the love of poetry. My #PoetryPromise for 2015 is to share a favourite poem of mine every month through my blog. My choice for August is “Let me put it this way” from Reading the Banns by Simon Armitage.


Let me put it this way:
if you came to lay

your sleeping head
against my arm or sleeve,

and if my arm went dead,
or if I had to take my leave

at midnight, I should rather
cleave it from the joint or seam

than make a scene
or bring you round.

how does that sound?

This beautiful poem is on the final page of Simon Armitage’s Book of Matches, a series of brilliant meditations on love. It concludes Reading the Banns, the third section of the book, which is an account of his own wedding. I’ve never read anything that captures the simple, selfless truth of love as perfectly as this.