Pruning like a (plastic) tree surgeon – final edit

I have approached the writing slightly differently than explained
in the assignment notes, choosing to “shape” the piece after writing the prose version.
This has more to do with how I understand and work-out poetry rather
than any technical or artistic reasoning.

Initially, I marked out where natural breaths would be taken
if the piece was read as prose (this took up much of my time, as,
frustratingly, I kept returning to “poem mode”). I then marked out words that
formed stresses. Where the markings for breath AND stress coincided, I decided
that a new line should be formed. Almost all of the pieces were entirely re-shaped
in this way.

Whilst I was doing this, I often rewrote, edited or
completely deleted lines, which were just “flopping” about, or filling in
spaces where I’d imagined. Actually, I realised that I’d created the spaces
myself; needing to trust my instinct a little bit more to reduce these in newer

The result of all this was the first draft.

I then took a break (enforced by family illness and a

During this period, I thought about the poems, the
structure, the wording and generally how they could be improved. After
returning home, and to the pieces, I edited them again (yes, again!) honing
them a little bit more each time. Further rewrites, editing and more editing
finally produced the result I am (currently) most happy.

I then had to decide which 6 pieces would be my final


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