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Lockdown: Simon Armitage writes poem about coronavirus outbreak

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Poet laureate says society may emerge from the pandemic ‘slightly slower, and wiser, at the other end’

Simon Armitage has written a poem to address the coronavirus and a lockdown that is slowly being implemented across the UK, saying that the art form can be consoling in times of crisis because it “asks us just to focus, and think, and be contemplative”.

The poet laureate’s new poem, Lockdown, moves from the outbreak of bubonic plague in Eyam in the 17th century, when a bale of cloth from London brought fleas carrying the plague to the Derbyshire village, to the epic poem Meghadūta by the Sanskrit poet Kālidāsa.

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