Magnetic Field

“8:25am, Holmfirth Bus Station. I am waiting for Simon Armitage. It is late autumn, a time of floods and first frosts. The river is in full, peaty spate. I stamp my feet, partly for warmth and partly to alleviate a low-level anxiety. I am unsure how a Poet Laureate is likely to arrive: on horseback, to a fanfare? Accompanied by a harlequin? The truth reveals itself on the dot of 8:30 in the form of an unmistakable fringe at the wheel of a grey Honda. After introductions that feel almost competitively mild-mannered, we begin the long climb north out of Holmfirth onto the moorlands, towards Marsden.”