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Helen’s Story: ‘A Vision’ Friday, 8 January 2010

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.
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I’ve had Simon Armitage’s ‘A Vision’ magnet-ed to my fridge since I clipped it out of The Independent several years ago.

I love it partly because of the subject matter. I’m an animator and illustrator and it’s about the fate of artist’s impressions and other dreams of the future. On a very literal level, I enjoy Armitage’s reflection on unbuilt designs. I also have a soft spot for architects’ handwriting – lots of my Christmas cards came addressed in “the neat left-hand/ of architects”.

But, more than that, I love it for the opening line:

The future was a beautiful place, once.

It’s so evocative. It speaks of a lost faith in technology and advancement; of a childhood spent watching Tomorrow’s World swept away by an adulthood of disappointment and nostalgia; of reality not matching up to dreams. And, isn’t that comma great?! I don’t entirely share the sentiments, but I enjoy the beautiful simplicity with which they’re expressed.

Helen Jackson is half of Edinburgh animation studio Binary Fable – www.binaryfable.com