The Universal Home Doctor
Author: Simon Armitage
Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd
Published: 19 August 2002
Buy from Faber
Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize
Published on the same day as Travelling Songs.
Was it a fall in pressure or some upward force
that went to the head of that spikelet of glass
and drew it through flesh, caused it to show its face
so many years to the day after the great crash.
The Universal Home Doctor is Armitage's most personal collection yet and, as the title — implies, reads like his own private encyclopaedia of emotion and health. These vivid and moving poems recount numerous memories and personal journeys from across the globe, but with a constant reference to the most universal and intimate landscape of all, the human body. Armitage also brings into question the idea of home and what it means to be English.