Not all of the new poems published in Walking Home appear in the red notebook: there are no drafts for ‘Fell Ponies’ or ‘Yellow Rattle Poverty’. However, ideas for them were clearly generated during the Pennine Way walk.
Day 9 (Dufton to Langdon Beck) includes the entry ‘Sudden emergence of 5 black fell ponies, sodden, got up from peat, black roots of manes, aurochs’, and one page of the notebook is blank except for the heading ‘Fell Pony’ - written in anticipation of a poem.
Similarly, the instruction ‘Yellow Rattle (Poverty) – write poem’ is included in the summary list of the day’s events for Day 10 (Langdon Beck to Baldersdale).
The absence of drafts here is illuminating. It might suggest a lack of time in the demanding schedule to write, but it may also indicate a pause in the writing process. Headings or instructions signal the intention to write a poem, which might not yet be fully grasped in language. Armitage has described poems like this as ‘insecure’; ones in an early stage of development that cannot yet be fully articulated.