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Discover poems from Simon Armitage's book, Blossomise

An aerial shot of the band LYR walking through a blossom-filled garden with some students
The band LYR and student filmmakers walk through the London Blossom Garden | © Bjorn Franklin

To celebrate all things blossom, we've gathered a selection of poems from Poet Laureate Simon Armitage's new book, Blossomise. Published in collaboration with Faber, the new book also includes illustrations by the celebrated artist Angela Harding.

To mark World Poetry Day on 21 March and our Blossom Week 20–28 April 2024, we've collaborated with Simon Armitage who's created a collection of poems and haikus inspired by the blossom season as part of the Blossomise project.

We commissioned these works as part of a long-term ambition to create an annual celebration of blossom and the arrival of spring. The collection was written to raise awareness around the role of nature in our lives, a selection of which is below. The illustrations that accompany the haikus were illustrated by artist Angela Harding, whose works also feature in Blossomise.

The poems in the book are used as lyrics for five new songs by Simon Armitage and his band LYR, which, as part of the Blossomise project, are being released as an EP of the same name.

A selection of haikus

The bees buy and sell

The bees buy and sell.
It’s market day on Plum Street.
Pollen changes hands.

An illustration from Blossomise
An illustration from Blossomise | © Angela Harding

Birthday

Nature told me

to close my eyes

for the big surprise.

I had visions of wild woods

in shindig mood,

blossom as fireworks

and fancy dress,

insects off their noddles

on high-grade pollen,

Planet Earth in party mode,

petals fizzing and frothing

like pink champagne.

Then Nature walked me

into the car park,

lifted the blindfold

and showed me a cherry tree

fit for the age.

Embarrassment. Rage.

Blossomise book cover

Blossomise

Blossomise is a collection of blossom-inspired poems and haikus by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, with illustrations by Angela Harding. These works explore how blossom can bring a sense of hope to an increasingly urbanised world.

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