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Walking Home: writing themes

SA_Walking Home/1
In 2010 Simon Armitage spent 19 days walking the 256 mile Pennine Way as a 'modern troubadour'. This online resource presents archive material relating to the walk and creation of Walking Home, held by Special Collections.
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Simon Armitage describes writing 'Walking Home'
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SA_Walking Home archive materials
A summary of the Walking Home archive materials
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Armitage Harmonium proposa
Details of book proposal 1
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Armitage Walking Home Proposal doc
Details of book proposal 2
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SA_Walking Home Red Notebook
introduction to the red notebook
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Walking Home SA/8
prose diary entry for day 0
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Walking Home SA/13
prose diary entry for day 1
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SA_Walking Home/126
Prose diary entry for day 15
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SA_Walking Away/162
red notebook poems introduction
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SA_Walking Home/18
first draft of the poem 'Cotton Grass'
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SA_Walking Home/31
second draft of the poem 'Cotton Grass'
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SA_Walking Home first proof/287
second draft of the poem 'Cotton Grass' continued
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SA_Walking Home_74
blank page entry headed 'fell ponies'
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SA_Walking Home/130
Comparison of three types of writing referring to black huts.
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SA_Walking Home/134
Notes on the changing imagery of 'Above Ickornshaw, Black Huts'
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Armitage Notebook Black Huts
Notes on the importance of landscape for the poem
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SA_Walking Home/108
Notes on the importance of poetic influences
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Walking Home SA_162
writing themes listed at the back of the red notebook
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SA_Walking Home/Glossop Audience
introduction to the Walking Home photograps
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SA_Walking Home/slug088
Walking Home photographs as visual narrative
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SA_Walking Home/digital_image/21
Walking Home: poetry as travel guide
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writing themes listed at the back of the red notebook
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Further reading material for Walking Home.
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Although some parts of the second Walking Home book proposal are included in the final version of the book (Armitage’s recollection of exhausted Pennine Way walkers reaching Marsden when he was a child, for example), entries in his walking notebook suggest that the project was still fluid at the beginning of the walk.

At the back of the notebook, along with lists of equipment, Armitage has listed potential ‘writing themes’. One is a suggestion that stages of the Pennine Way could be mapped to the stages of Odysseus’ journey in Homer’s Odyssey.

As with the earlier book proposals this list sets out ways to approach the journey through writing, but it is less formal and not written to appeal to a publisher.  By comparing this list made at the beginning of the journey with the notes made en-route and the published text we can see how the physical, logistical and personal demands of the Pennine Way shaped the final book.

 

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