From Day 10, Armitage begins to use quick lists as a strategy to summarise the day before writing about it in more detail. On Day 15 this list is followed by a page of dense notes in fractured prose.
On the final pages of the entry a single idea is reworked in repeated sentences and paragraphs, a type of drafting that only appears elsewhere in the notebook when poems are composed. Here Armitage describes the border-crossing from the Dales to West Yorkshire experienced as a change of light. While the limestone Dales have a ‘luminous’ quality, the landscape of their neighbours is altogether darker:
‘As if those moors and their dark heathers and drab grasses still wore the widows clothing of the industry which once surrounded them.’
Here the landscape itself seems to demand a change in writing style: one which is poetic, although written in prose. Simultaneously, the change of light appears to be accompanied by a darker, more critical, mood and tone. Phrases and questions suggest that this part of the walk is mentally as well as physically challenging:
‘Today is a long walk’,
‘Could do without that final hill’,
‘A rod for my own back’,
‘Am I running out of humour not energy’?
These changes in style and tone invite us to consider the complex relationships between mood, perception and landscape.