Simon Armitage's poems are often intriguing. Sometimes downright irritating. Recently I was looking at 'Homecoming' and you can see some thoughts and teaching suggestions in the Workshop. Now I'm wondering, what's going on in 'Hitcher'?
The narrator is a hitch-hiker too - but why does he have a hired car? More importantly, why does he pick up the hitch-hiker? Why, if you felt as he did, would you do that? It seems to me an even bigger question than why did he kill him?
How could I get into this poem? Perhaps by trying to empathise with someone in a mind-snapping situation.
Who is more tired and stretched to the limit than a new mother? The incessant calls on her attention, her love? And without sleep, without respite, we snap. Perhaps like the voice in Armitage’s poem. And we do something in a moment we will later regret. Or we hope the driver will regret. I have more empathy with the mother than I do the narrator in 'Hitcher' who remains beyond my comprehension.
So, a start on a poem in the style of Armitage but from the mother's point of view:
I’ve been tired, under
The weather, but the bairn kept screamin’
Waa waa waaa - he was overtired.
I got a bus to the local supermarket.
It was Asda. I was wired.