Tuesday, March 06, 2012

News at Eleven: I can hold several lines in my head

for quite some time, but as soon as they are written down, the register clears, as it were, and I have to work with what is on the paper. I think of it as being similar to working with metal: as long as the lines are in my head, they are warm and malleable; when they are written down, they are less workable, a little like when worked metal is plunged into a cooling tank. Not much happens on paper, and though I type the poems up later, I would very rarely make changes at that stage.

from The Economist: The Q&A: John Burnside: What makes you write poetry?


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