Seeing Stars, By Simon Armitage

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The Independent Culture

From a talking sperm-whale at the outset to a sighting of Martin Amis in a surreally-enhanced Yorkshire at the end, Simon Armitage's new collection consists of funny, quirky, piquant prose poems.

They hover somewhere between dream, satire and League of Gentlemen-type sketch. As a form, this sort of pared-down parable has flourished since the time of Baudelaire – but seldom with this cast of Humberside astronauts, high-fiving Leeds Lord Mayors and even a tattooist-in-residence on a South Pennine slag heap.

What does it all mean? Don't you fret about that. Just enjoy the company of this delirious love-child of Arthur Rimbaud and Alan Bennett. "There must always be a small corner of rapture, otherwise what's the point?"