You May Turn Over and Begin
“Which of these films was Dirk Bogarde
not in? One hundredweight of bauxite
makes how much aluminium?
how many tales in ‘The Decameron’?”
General Studies, the upper sixth, a doddle, a cinch
for anyone with an ounce of common sense
or a calculator
with a memory feature.
The lines above are from one of Google’s suggestions for Armitage’s top best poems. This poem is actually about teenage sexuality and has a surprising and mildly interesting ending, I think. However, having shared the poets exam room ambience as a youngster, as well as having invigilated many many tests and examinations it is the first few lines that I would like to peruse here.
More soon but you can read the whole poem at https://www.poeticous.com/simon-armitage/you-may-turn-over-and-begin