How do you write your poems?

Quite often I start writing using a dictaphone. Particularly when I'm travelling along in the car. I can pick this up and speak into it and capture the ideas so I don't lose them. And that's really useful. Other times ideas come when I'm doing something that doesn't involve a lot of brain work, something like washing-up late at night. I'll grab hold of a piece of paper, usually an old envelope - I keep a pile of old envelopes in the kitchen and scribble the ideas on the back of the odd envelope between washing-up and later on I'll come along and work in the office, putting the ideas from the envelope or the dictaphone into the notebook and I'll carry on in the notebook for a while. There always comes a time when I think I would like to see what this looks like on the screen so I transfer the whole lot to the computer screen. Then I cut and paste and edit and generally mess around with the poem until I think it's OK. I print it out and have a look at it again and invariably the print-out looks as though it needs attention again so I'll fiddle around with that and make another print-out and the process can go on for a while until I'm happy with the poem.


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