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The red notebook: poems

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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Poems feature in the red notebook in a number of ways. One of the possible ‘writing themes’ listed at the back of the notebook is ‘The poetry of travel methods. Walking as iambic, the heartbeat and the footstep.’

Martin Heidegger wrote that ‘poetically man dwells’, highlighting the way in in which language mediates how we live, how we inhabit and how we ‘are’.
The suggestion of the red notebook seems to be ‘poetically man walks’: the language, but also the rhythm, of poetry connects us to the landscape.

Four new poems by Armitage appear in Walking Home, and one poem previously published in Book of Matches.  Initial drafts for two of the new poems are found in the red notebook. Alongside these Armitage discusses some of the ‘journey’ poems that he reads at events along the walk including: ‘Causeway’, ‘Before you Cut Loose’ and his translations of the Odyssey and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. These earlier poems offer an interesting contrast to the poems written on the Pennine Way. They highlight the site-specific nature of the Walking Home poems while acknowledging the abiding thematic interest of physical and metaphorical journeys from classical to contemporary poetry.